The Calcutta Quran petition Compiled with an Introduction by Sita Ram Goel
THE CALCUTTA QURAN PETITION
From the Book
A government in panic
Muslims in India have often sought shelter under Sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code (I.P.C.) for preventing every public discussion of their creed in general and their prophet in particular.1
Quite a few publications which examine critically the sayings and doings of the Prophet or other idolized personalities of Islam have been proscribed under Section 95 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) as a result of pressure exerted by vociferous, very often violent Muslim protests.
Little did they suspect that the same provisions of the law could be invoked for seeking a ban on their holy book, the Quran. The credit for this turning of tables goes to Chandmal Chopra of Calcutta.
It was he who filed a Writ Petition in the Calcutta High Court on 29 March 1985 stating that publication of the Quran attracts Sections 153A and 295A of the I.P.C. because it “incites violence, disturbs public tranquility, promotes, on the ground of religion, feelings of enmity, hatred, and ill-will between different religious communities, and insults other religions or religious beliefs of other communities in India”.
He also prayed for a rule nisi on the Government of West Bengal “to show cause as to why a writ of mandamus is not issued to it directing it to declare each copy of Quran whether in the original Arabic or any of the languages as forfeited to the Government” in terms of Section 95 of the Cr. P.C.
The case had caused considerable excitement among the “believers” (Mumins) and interest among the “infidels” (Kafirs) in April -May 1985. The press in India and abroad gave many