The Maharashtra government is likely to drop the sedition charge against cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, according to sources. Sources say that a final decision will be taken in 24 hours. This comes as Aseem has vowed not to apply for bail till the sedition charge against him is dropped.
However, even as the sedition charge is likely to be dropped, the other two charges under Section 66 A of Information Technology Act and Section 2 of Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, will remain.
Earlier on Tuesday, anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal met Aseem at the Arthur Road jail and threatened to protest outside the jail if the sedition charge wasn't dropped against Aseem.
Mumbai Police did a flip flop on Aseem on Monday, giving up his custody in court. However, Aseem was sent to jail till September 24 as he refused to apply for bail till sedition charges were dropped against him. Aseem has vowed not to apply for bail until the sedition charge against him is dropped.
"I am not seeking bail because I am proud of whatever I did, and this I will do it repeatedly. I am not a criminal that I should deposit money and seek bail, but till the time the charges of sedition are not dropped against me, I will continue to be in jail", said a statement in Hindi purported to be written by Trivedi in jail.
The statement was circulated outside the Court by volunteers of India Against Corruption(IAC), which organised Anna Hazare's rally last year.
The Kanpur-based artist has been accused of putting up banners mocking the Constitution during a rally of anti- corruption crusader Anna Hazare in Mumbai late last year and posting the same on his website.
Trivedi was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by a member of Republican Party of India, Amit Katarnayea.
As the arrest sparked condemnation by some political parties and activists, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said though the Constitution ensures freedom of expression it also lays down that every citizen must respect the national symbols.