Supreme Court judgment on Arundhati Roy


We are dismayed and pained at the Supreme Court judgment harshly convicting writer and activist Arundhati Roy of contempt of court for her criticism of the judicial verdict in the Narmada case, among other things.

The sentence is far from ‘symbolic’ and entails three months’ imprisonment if Roy does not pay a Rs. 2,000 fine.

The judgment will be widely seen as discouraging and deterring any criticism of judicial verdicts, even if it is reasonable, factually correct, logically sound, and in the public interest. This has distressing



implications for the freedom of expression and a writer’s ability to communicate creatively. Its impact on the media, which already has to battle growing political and commercial interference, will be deleterious.

While expressing our solidarity with Arundhati Roy, and the heroic movement of the people of the Narmada Valley, we call upon the Supreme Court to review its judgment.

Signed, among others, by:
K. Satchidanandan, Krishna Sobti, Gopi Chand Narang, Githa Hariharan, Namwar Singh, Kunwar Narain, Praful Bidwai, Achin Vanaik, Prabhat Patnaik, Irfan Habib, Sukumar Muralidharan, Shabnam Hashmi, Rajendra Prasad