The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the arrest of a former principal at a government-run law college in Indore after a case was registered against him in connection with a book that purportedly has objectionable content about Hindus, Live Law reported.

Inamur Rahman had been allegedly forced to resign as the principal of New Government Law College on December 3 after a controversy erupted over the book titled Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System. The book, written by Farhat Khan, was in the college library.

Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad had alleged that Khan’s book contains objectionable content about Hindus and Hindutva outfits such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal. The ABVP is the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Members of the student organisation also claimed that the book talks about the emergence of “Hindu communalism as a destructive ideology”.

Besides Rahman, the Madhya Pradesh Police have filed a case against Khan, publishing house Amar Law Publication and a professor named Mirza Mojiz Baig. Khan had been arrested on December 8.

At Friday’s hearing, Rahman’s counsel told a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha that Khan’s book was published in 2014 and purchased by the college in the same year. Khan was at the time a professor in the law college and not the principal, the lawyer added.

“This is not a case for arrest,” the chief justice remarked as the bench granted relief from arrest to the former principal for three weeks and posted the matter for hearing in January.

Last week, Rahman had said he took over as principal of the college in 2019. “I have nothing to do with its placement in the library,” he added. “The FIR [first information report] against me is unfortunate.”

Rahman has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) based on a complaint of students of New Government Law College and ABVP leader Lucky Adiwal, according to PTI.

He approached the Supreme Court after the Madhya Pradesh High Court had on Thursday dismissed his application seeking interim anticipatory bail. “The mere presence of books on the campus doesn’t constitute a case for hatred, promoting enmity between groups and others,” his counsel had argued, The Times of India reported.