Kerala HC stays award for Hussain

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Kochi, Sep 12 (UNI) The Kerala High Court today restrained the state government from conferring its prestigious Raja Ravi Varma Award on renowned painter M F Hussain at a function scheduled for September 17.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice K T Sankaran granted the stay on a public interest petition filed by Ravi Varma of Thammanam here, challenging the government's decision to honour the artist.

The petitioner contended that Mr Hussain had ''abused'' the freedom of expression incorporated in the Constitution by depicting ''Bharat Mata'' and Hindu Gods and Goddesses in a vulgar and beastly manner in total disregard of Hindu religious sentiments.

Despite several representations and protests, the Kerala Government had not withdrawn the decision to confer the award on Mr Hussain, he said.

UNI

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