The High Court in the east Indian city of Calcutta has quashed a case against a leading Bengali writer for allegedly defiling a Hindu goddess, Saraswati.
Gangopadhyay is one of India's best known writers (Picture: Subir Haldar)
Author Sunil Gangopadhyay was quoted in a newspaper saying that he kissed an idol of Saraswati, the goddess of learning, to satisfy his desire.
The novelist says he is relieved the legal proceedings are over and that his comments had been meant as a joke.
Gangopadhyay is Bengal's best known poet and novelist with over 250 books.
The case was brought against him by a former chief of police who said that the writer had hurt his religious sentiments.
Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of learning
Bhibhuti Bhusan Nandy a former chief of border police, said in a complaint to the police that Gangopadhyay's comments had defiled a goddess who is worshipped by Hindus.
Saraswati is regarded as the goddess of knowledge and the arts.
Correspondents say Gangopadhyay is no stranger to controversy.
Two years ago there were demonstrations outside a newspaper office in Calcutta after he wrote about the sex life of Indian spiritual leader Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
Last year, the Bangladesh government banned an issue of an Indian magazine which carried a story by Gangopadhyay where he wrote about the sex life of the Prophet Muhammad.
A prolific writer, Gangopadhyay has authored novels, short-stories, poems and travelogues in a 54-year-long writing career.