The 25-year-old cartoonist was arrested on Saturday under IPC Section 124 (sedition), section 66 A of Information Technology Act and section 2 of Prevention of Insults to Nation Honour Act. He was remanded in police custody till September 16 yesterday.
Producing Trivedi before a Bandra Court, police said their investigations in the case were over and his custodial interrogation was not needed.
The Kanpur-based artist has been accused of putting up banners mocking the Constitution during a rally of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare here late last year and posting the same on his website.
Police informed the court the posters drawn by Trivedi had been put up at the rally but it was very hard to recover them at this stage as they were thrown by the cartoonist at the rally venue in Bandra Kural Complex.
Police further said Trivedi was using a mobile phone registered on his father's name. They said in so far as posting of Trivedi's cartoons on a social networking site was concerned, the Cyber Cell of the department was carrying out investigations.
After going through the remand application, the Court observed that investigations were complete and remanded Trivedi to judicial custody till September 24.
Trivedi was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by a member of Republican Party of India, Amit Katarnayea.
Clad in black kurta and jeans, Trivedi was brought to the court in the afternoon. The Magistrate asked him whether he had any complaint against police, to which he replied in the negative. After the proceedings, Trivedi, sporting a beard, was whisked away by the police. He did not seek bail.
Outside the Court, around 200 volunteers of India Against Corruption (which organised Hazare's rally last year) had gathered to support Trivedi. One of them distributed copies of a statement purported to be written by Trivedi in jail.
The statement read, "If telling the truth is against the country, then I am a traitor....If raising voice against injustice is against the country then I am a traitor..If the definition's of 'Patriot' and 'Traitor' have changed in the course of time, then I am a traitor".
"I oppose disrespect shown to the Constitution. I believe in the Constitution as well as Dr B R Ambedkar. Seeing disrespect to the Constitution pains me and I am trying to stop this through my cartoons," the statement in Hindi said.
"I am following the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi and serving the nation...Do not get bothered seeing me inside the jail. Remember, Anna Hazare has said that one should go to jail for the sake of nation.
According to the statement, Trivedi said he was not seeking bail because he was proud of whatever he did and he will do it repeatedly.
"I am not a criminal that I should deposit money and seek bail, but till the time the charges of sedition are not dropped against me, I will continue to be in jail", the statement added.
Trivedi had come to Mumbai on September 8 and went straight to Bandra-Kurla Police station where the complaint was registered against him. He was immediately arrested and produced before the court the next day.
Earlier, a team of Mumbai Police had gone to Kanpur to look for Trivedi. Not finding him, they had met his father.
After Trivedi learnt that a complaint had been filed against him in Mumbai, he surrendered to police.
Trivedi had told the Court yesterday he would not engage a lawyer and also did not say anything in his defence.
The prosecution's charge against Trivedi is that he had put up objectionable posters on his website which allegedly insulted the Constitution. Also, he had allegedly insulted the National Anthem in one of his cartoons displayed at Hazare's rally and uploaded it on his website.
Meanwhile, the Press Club, Mumbai, in a statement, condemned the arrest of Trivedi on charge of sedition which it termed as "a draconian and outdated piece of law".
Seeking Trivedi's immediate release, the statement said he was a well-known activist against corruption and was only portraying the rot in the system through his cartoon images. His blog posts meant no harm to either the nation's emblems or to the Constitution.
Section 124 IPC which has been invoked against Trivedi, says "whoever, by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government, shall be imprisoned for life".
Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to Nation Honour Act, says, "whoever in any public place burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written or by acts) the National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term that may extend to three years".
Meanwhile, a report from Beed, Central Maharashtra, said two separate complaints have been registered against Trivedi for "insulting" Parliament and Constitution through his cartoons.
The first case was filed on January 7, 2012, in Beed Court by Hanumant Upre, President of OBC Styashodhak Parishad.
The second one was registered on May 23.
National symbols need to be respected: Govt
New Delhi: Maintaining that UPA government is not in favour of "censorship but self-regulation" by the media, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni today said certain ground rules for respect of national symbols have to be followed by every Indian citizen.
"UPA government is not for censorship but for self- regulation and in the last three years as an I & B Minister, we have promoted self-regulation at every step," she told reporters here.
She was responding to queries following the arrest of cartoonist Assem Trivedi in Mumbai for allegedly posting seditious content on his website.
Trivedi was arrested in Mumbai on Saturday on the basis of a complaint filed in December. He was produced before a court which remanded him to police custody till September 16.
A member of Republican Party of India, Amit Katarnayea, had filed a complaint against Trivedi that he had put up banners mocking Indian constitution during Anna Hazare's rally held last year at the Bandra Kurla Complex. It was also alleged that he had put the obscene content on his website.
Soni said though the Constitution ensures freedom of expression, it also lays down that every citizen must respect the national symbols.
"There are certain ground rules which we all have to follow. When the Constitution ensures freedom of expression to each one of us, it also lays down that we as Indian citizens respect all national symbols which represent the Indian nation," she added.
The I&B Minister favoured a harmony between creativity and sense of respect for national symbols.
"We have to bring our right to expression, right to creativity and our respect for national symbols in a harmonious way," she said.
Arvind Kejriwal-led IAC backs Koodankulam stir, jailed cartoonist
Ghaziabad: Arvind Kejriwal-led India Against Corruption today came in support of Koodankulam protesters and jailed cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, accusing the government of using charges of sedition to muzzle voices of dissent.
Addressing a press conference here, Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav condemned the police action against locals protesting against a nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu's Koodankulam and slapping sedition charges on Trivedi.
"A large number of locals in Koodankulam have been slapped with sedition cases. This shows the intolerant and fascist face of the government. The government is targeting people who are highlighting corruption," Bhushan said.
On the action against Trivedi, he said sedition charges can be invoked only if it involves waging of war against the country and in this case, it was a cartoon that did not target national symbols as alleged.
Kejriwal said, "he was not denigrating Parliament or national symbols but targeting those who were denigrating Parliament or the symbol. Mere use of a symbol in a cartoon does not mean he was disrespecting the national symbol."
Interestingly, Trivedi had last month alleged that some IAC activists had manhandled him and others at Jantar Mantar when they objected to the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare taking a political plunge.
On the Koodankulam issue, Bhushan said the locals were protesting against the plant after witnessing the catastrophic accident in Japan's Fukushima last year.
Bhushan alleged that the plant is being built without safety measures recommended by government's own expert committee and by absolving the Russian company supplying the nuclear plant of all liability in case of an accident.
"Though the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) informed Madras High Court that they would not allow the plant to start before implementing the safety measures, authorities have decided to load the fuel rods immediately and start the plant soon," he said.
"It is natural for local villages to be agitated over the safety of the plant in which an accident is a matter of life and death for millions of people residing within a radius of at least 50 km," he said.
Kejriwal said the IAC firmly stands for freedom of expression and expresses its anguish against a growing culture of intolerance for creative expression in the public domain.
"There can be two views about the content of some other cartoons put up by him on his website, or indeed about their appropriateness but these are matters to be judged by the public, and not by the police.
"In particular, the use of sedition law against Aseem Trivedi is blatantly illegal and portrays sign of a paranoid state that does not behove a mature democracy like India.
"We note with regret that his is not an isolated case and of late there have been many instances across regions and regimes of harassment of cartoonists and other artists. His harassment smacks of vendetta against anti-corruption movement," he said.
Arrest cops, politicians behind Trivedi's ordeal: Katju
Chennai: Terming the arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi in Mumbai a "serious criminal offence", Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju today said politicians and police officials behind it should be instead arrested and tried.
"Because under Section 342 of the PIC, wrongful arrest and confinement are serious criminal offences....If you are arresting a person who has not committed a crime, then you are committing a crime. So, these politicians and these police officers should be arrested and made to face trial," he said while delivering a lecture on 'Self Regulation in Electronic Media in India' at Anna University here.
Earlier, Katju, a former Superme Court judge, had said that the cartoonist did nothing illegal.
Trivedi was arrested on Saturday on sedition and other charges following a complaint that he had put up banners mocking the Indian Constitution during the Anna Hazare rally held last year in Mumbai and had also uploaded obscene content on his website.
He was produced in a Mumbai court on Sunday which sent him to police custody till September 16. He was sent to jail today after a local court remanded him to two-week judicial custody as police submitted that their investigations in the case were over and his custodial interrogation was not needed.
Katju also lamented that there was "no freedom for press" in Bihar and claimed that though there was no physical assault on journalists, those who write against the state government were dismissed or transferred to remote area.
"There is no freedom of press in Bihar. Although that was my tentative view, I have set up a fact finding committee, which is likely to submit its report by the end of this month," he said. id.
Arrest of cartoonist uncalled for: Cong
New Delhi: Congress today disapproved of the arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on the charge of sedition saying the action was a bit "over-stretched" and "not called for".
At the same time, the AICC advocated for "reasonable restrictions" on freedom of speech and called for respecting the national emblems.
The remarks by the AICC spokesperson Manish Tewari came as the party-led government in Maharashtra said it was trying to seek the release of the artist who has been charged with sedition.
"I have no hesitation in saying that the arrest is a bit too far over-stretched...over reaction is certainly not called for...we are not in favour of arrest," Tewari told reporters at the AICC briefing.
While noting that "a society, which fails to laugh at itself, runs the risk of getting atrophied, he at the same time posed the question "does freedom of speech mean doing everything is fair deal?
Tewari, however, said there are certain national emblems and symbols that have to be respected by all.
Referring to an arbitration going on in the Supreme Court on freedom speech, he said "perhaps we have not reached the golden median as yet between where the freedom of expression ends and reasonable restrictions begin. The jury is still out on that."
His remarks came close on the heels of Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni maintaining that UPA government is not in favour of "censorship but self-regulation" by the media.
The Kanpur-based cartoonist was arrested by Mumbai Police on Saturday on the basis of a complaint which alleged he posted seditious content on his website. The complaint was filed in December by a member of Republican Party of India.
Tewari said as a comlaint was filed, it would have been better had the police filed the chargesheet and left it to the court to decide, instead of arresting and jailing Trivedi before any court judgement.
Govt targeting Washington Post, cartoonist Aseem: BJP
New Delhi: BJP today alleged that while the UPA government was involved in corruption cases like coal mines allocation scam, it has started attacking democratic institutions and free speech as seen in the targeting of the "Washington Post" newspaper and cartoonist Aseem Trivedi.
"If an article is written in Washington Post, then a letter is dashed off to it by this government. If a cartoonist, using his right to freedom of speech, expresses his views, then he becomes a danger to national security," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
He was referring to the arrest of Trivedi in Mumbai on sedition charges for his cartoons.
Hussain alleged the government "has become a threat to the people" and failed to live upto their expectations.
BJP charged the government remains silent on the issues on which it is expected to give answers, including the questions raised by the media.
"The government used to refer to the praise heaped on it by the international media earlier and now when the government is being criticised by them, it is writing letters so that a message is sent across to the Indian media as well that they should not engage in criticism," Hussain said.
BJP leader L K Advani also mentioned the controversy over a "Washington Post" article criticising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In his blog, Advani hit out at the PM's Media Adviser for the way in which he handled the issue.
"A perfect storm was brewed out of a non-event when an officious media advisor to Dr Manmohan Singh thought that he would crush a journalist from the Washington Post, Simon Denyer, and send a stern signal to Indian reporters in the process, with a withering salvo of accusations.... If this was intended to cow down Denyer, it had the opposite effect," Advani said.
Striking a sarcastic note, Advani said "This pesky foreign correspondent had dared to commit the unpardonable impropriety of criticising the Prime Minister of India."
Advani maintained if this was aimed at frightening the Indian media, then the result was worse.
"A story which would have been ignored or reduced to the margins rose to the top of attention. The official's pomposity was an invitation to laughter and who could resist such an offer? This must be a high point of disservice to Dr Manmohan Singh by a man hired to serve," Advani said.
BJP charged it is the government which is responsible for the washout of the monsoon session of Parliament as it had completely rejected the Opposition demand on the coal mines allocation issue.
"And if a cartoonist makes a cartoon on the lowering of the dignity of Parliament due to this, then the government has an objection to it and a case is filed against him. You are in power does not mean you impose an undeclared emergency in the country," Hussain said.
BJP also expressed its resentment at Congress' statement holding CAG, along with the Opposition, responsible for the washout of the Parliament session.
"It is unfortunate that Congress is attacking Constitutional institutions. It should stop targeting these institutions which were built by Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. To say that Constitutional institutions have a similar mindset as that of the BJP is wrong. We need to talk about those who have a mindset similar to that of the corrupt," Hussain said.
He added those safeguarding the Constitutional institutions should not be targeted in this manner.
BJP reiterated its stand that government is indulging in these acts to divert attention from the coal scam. This includes holding Chief Ministers responsible for the mines allocations when they actually had no role, it claimed.
NCP defends action against cartoonist Trivedi; demands apology
Mumbai: NCP today defended the police action against cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who was booked under sedition charges and demanded an apology from him.
Talking to reporters, NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said Trivedi had been arrested for objectionable cartoons of the national emblem and the Parliament.
"People are being misled to believe that he has been booked for supporting anti-corruption agitation against politicians and the government," Malik claimed.
According to him, Trivedi should apologise for his actions after which the government can consider withdrawing the case against him.
"Right to freedom of speech and expression does not give you a right to abuse. Trivedi's cartoons are not against political parties, government but against the country," the NCP spokesman claimed.
Hi, Aseem has been making such tasteless but passionate cartoons for long time. He is a desh bhakt and NOT a desh drohi%u2014 if you are NOT stupid and have an iota of perception, you will figure out that no sedition clause can be invoked. Intelligent people do NOT have a problem figuring out if hand slapped the face or if it was vice versa. HIS FORTHCOMING TRIP TO SYRIA, HAS UPSET ISRAEL AND USA. POWERFUL FORCES ARE INVLOVED. FOREIGN ZIONIST FUNDED MEDIA OF INDIA AND PAID UP POLITICIANS WILL FIX HIM. Capt ajit vadakayil ..
The charge is unwarranted,I would invite the politicians and the Indian Attorney and Solicitor Generals to read the history of cartoons and also read the British and Canadian cases regarding cartoons which were all dismissed. It seems that all levels of Indian governments have become repressive like the Apartheid government of South Africa or the past colonial government of India and other colonies of the British.
How about the cartoonist who was brutally tortured and beaten to death and his body dumped in a ditch outside Delhi? See "INDIA'S TRAITOR GOVERNMENT AND MEDIA" : IndiasTraitorGovtAndMediaDOTblogspotDOTcom .
The police in Mumbai could not do anything against Raj Thackeray but show their power they have now targeted Aseem (a North Indian!). Does it not mean that Mumbai police has taken a cue from Raj and doing what he wants them to do! What a shame! Who says we are a free people? Who says there is rule of law, there is equality before the law?
A picture/cartoon speaks a lot than a written essay and it sends the message to the observer/reader. Why can't our people accept the truth and correct their mistakes. IF THIS IS THE PATTERN WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE GUYS AND THE RECENT OPPOSITION AND THREATS TO THE CARTOONS THAT WERE RAISED IN THE WEST????? JAIHIND
IF the person disrespecting amar jawan jyoti is dehdrohi why cant the person who disrespects parliament and constitution be? Why two opinions on same act as soon as the person's last name changes? Put him in jail.
I remember the times of sri Jawaharlal Nehru who looked for his own cartoon in Shanker's weekly, first thing every week.Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia who was often a bitter critque of the First prime minister of our Nation often provided the ammunition for the scathing cartoons of Late Shanker Pillai, who hardly spared anyone in his cartoons that entertained the whole of Nation before and during my generation. When we see the folly of an act, a situation funny enough to bring smiles and tears of laughter from the victim of the humour as well as the crowds we are giving due recognition and opportunity to the (May Be)minority view point, to be viewed by larger numbers than could do so under normal modes of expression.If the creativity has been abused by the creator of the cartoon, a creative response would have been organising a debate before a section of the bureaucrats chosen by the government,the representatives of media with this person, charged with a disproportionately grave offence.
arrest anybody for pointing out corruption and give bharat ratna for people doing corruption as they are doing service to the nation.It looks like every regime has an end.Now, congress obituary has started to be made to order.
Enraged at arrest, 'patriot' cartoonist Aseem Trivedi refuses to apply for bail, Terrorist will be out of Jail & patriot will be sent to jail Its U P A RAJ(u= ulta p= pulta A= arajak)
I salute your courage and conviction. Great !!!