MUMBAI/HARIDWAR: Acting on the orders of a court in Haridwar, police in Mumbai have begun the process of attaching the property of painter MF Husain in a case related to the alleged obscene depiction of Hindu goddesses in his paintings.
Police pasted an attachment notice outside the south Mumbai residence of Husain, who is currently not in India, a police official said on Sunday.
"We pasted the court notice regarding the attachment of the property at Jolly Makers-III in Cuffe Parade on Saturday evening," DCP Brijesh Singh said.
The court of Special Judicial Magistrate KS Shukla in Haridwar ordered police to attach Husain's property after he repeatedly failed to respond to summons to appear before it, including at the last hearing of the matter on April 13.
Singh said police in Mumbai were only implementing orders issued by the court in Haridwar. Police will write to the Mumbai collector to ascertain whether Husain owns any other properties with the city limits, he said.
Advocate Arvind Shrivastava filed a case against Husain for allegedly depicting Hindu goddesses in an obscene manner in the Haridwar district court in March 2006.
The case was transferred nine months later to the court of Magistrate Shukla, who issued a bailable warrant against the artist on January 2 after he failed to respond to summons.
The matter will come up again in court on May 13.
While issuing the bailable warrant against Husain on January 2, the judge had ordered him to appear in court on February 20. When Husain failed to do so, the judge issued a non-bailable warrant against the painter and directed him to appear for a hearing on March 7.
When Husain again failed to appear in court or provide a suitable response to it, the judge ordered the attachment of his properties and directed the artist to appear in court on April 13.
The court also took exception to the Mumbai Police Commissioner's failure to appear before it on April 13 in connection with the case and sought an explanation from him by May 13.
Husain's paintings featuring goddesses earlier sparked protests in various parts of the country and a series of cases were filed against him.
The artist, now living in Dubai and London, continues to stay away from India reportedly due to fears that he may be arrested in connection with these cases.