The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Rajasthan Police not to arrest sociologist and political critic Ashis Nandy who ran into trouble with his utterances in the Jaipur Literature Festival construed as anti-Dalit.
The also asked Nandy to not make such statements in future despite his good intentions.
Nandy had petitioned on Thursday before the apex court to quash the First Information Report (FIR) registered against him for his comments made at the Jaipur Literature Festival last week.
The police had registered an FIR under section 3(1) of the SC/ST Act against him, which is non-bailable and invites up to 10-years in jail.
Nandy landed himself in a cesspool of controversy by saying that Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) were the most corrupt, triggering angry reactions and lodging of an FIR against him that could see him behind bars.
He had said: "It is a fact that most of the corrupt come from the OBCs and the Schedule Castes, and now increasingly from the Schedule Tribes, and as long as this is the case, Indian Republic will survive."
Nandy later issued a statement clarifying his comments.
"I also said that if people like me or Richard Sorabjee want to be corrupt, I shall possibly send his son to Harvard giving him a fellowship and he can send my daughter to Oxford. No one will think it to be corruption. Indeed, it will look like supporting talent," said Nandy in a statement.
"But when Dalits, tribals and the OBCs are corrupt, it looks very corrupt indeed," he said.
"However, this second corruption equalizes. It gives them access to their entitlements. And so, as long as this equation persists, I have hope for the Republic," Nandy said.
"I hope this will be the end of the matter. I am sorry if some have misunderstood me. Though there was no reason to do so. As should be clear from this statement, there was neither any intention nor any attempt to hurt any community. If anyone is genuinely hurt, even if through misunderstanding, I am sorry about that, too," he had said.
But despite his statement some groups and politicians wanted him to go to jail.