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Privileges Committee to seek clarification from De over tweets

Supreme court

Mumbai: With the Supreme Court asking author Shobhaa De to respond to the breach of privilege notice issued by Maharashtra Assembly against her, minister Girish Bapat said the state legislature’s Privileges Committee will seek clarification from her over tweets on screening of Marathi films.

Bapat, however, clarified that “no coercive action will be taken against her”.

The breach of privilege motion against De has been admitted by the state legislature, he said.

As per rules of business of the legislature committee, a notice is served to the person and a due clarification is sought, after which the legislature committee decides on the future course of action, the state Parliamentary Affairs Minister said.

“The committee will take action if no clarification is received from De within the stipulated deadline. But there will be no coercive action against her,” he said.

Bapat pointed out that the Supreme Court, in its judgement in the Uttar Pradesh versus Keshav Singh case of 1965, had observed that courts should not interfere in the functioning of Parliament and Legislature, while the latter should also not interfere in the functioning of the courts.

The apex court had yesterday asked the author to respond to the breach of privilege notice issued by the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly against her within a fortnight to clarify that her tweets on Marathi movies have nothing remotely to do with the conduct of the House.

The court had earlier stayed the breach of privilege notice issued against De by Maharashtra Assembly Speaker for her tweets on the state government’s decision to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen Marathi movies during prime time in April this year.

The author had moved the SC against the notice issued by the Assembly Speaker following a complaint against her by a Shiv Sena lawmaker alleging that the series of tweets by her insulted Marathi language and Marathi-speaking people.

The columnist had earlier tweeted, “Devendra ‘Diktatwala’ Fadnavis is at it again!!! From beef to movies. This is not the Maharashtra we all love! Nako!Nako! Yeh sab roko!(sic).”

“I love Marathi movies. Let me decide when and where to watch them, Devendra Fadnavis. This is nothing but Dadagiri,” she had tweeted.

Reacting to the tweets, Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik had moved a breach of privilege motion against De for allegedly “insulting CM Devendra Fadnavis and sentiments of Marathi-speaking people”.

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