MF Husain paintings not obscene: HC

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New Delhi, May 8 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today quashed the criminal proceedings against controversial painter M F Husain for allegedly hurting public sentiments by painting obscene pictures of Hindu goddesses.

Hearing three petitions filed at different places, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, "the allegation is baseless. It is a matter of having different perspectives and cannot be the basis for initiating criminal proceedings.

The order was seen as a huge relief to the 91-year-old painter, forced to live in self-exile abroad after a series of protests against the controversial paintings.

One of the petitions mentioned that Husain had painted 'Bharatmata' in an obscene manner. The Court termed the controversial painting 'not obscene", Dwaipayan Venkateshacharya Warkhedkar had first moved the trial court, referring to a book titled ''Anti-Hindus'' published in 2003.

The book described how Husain's painting had allegedly denigrated Hindu deities.

The cases filed in different states were earlier clubbed on the direction of the Supreme Court and were being heard by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Patiala House Courts in Delhi.

UNI SSS SW AS1826

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