Aisha Sultana Sedition Case: Kerala HC Refuses Stay on Proceedings
The court was hearing a plea filed by Aisha Sultana, which sought to quash the FIR registered against her.
The Kerala High Court on Friday, 2 July, declined to stay the proceedings of the sedition case registered against film-maker Aisha Sultana in Lakshadweep.
The court was hearing a plea filed by Sultana, which sought to quash the First Information Report (FIR) registered against her by the Kavaratti Police.
The observation made by Justice Ashok Menon noted that the probe was “at its infancy” and therefore, “It was too early to throw away” the prosecution case and pass an interim order, The Hindu reported.
Further, the court asked the administration of Lakshadweep to apprise the court of its progress in the matter.
Additional Solicitor General of India Aman Lekhi, appearing for the administration had contended that the investigation was at a preliminary stage and, therefore, any judicial interference was not appropriate.
The Lakshadweep Police had filed an FIR against her on 8 June after a complaint by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lakshadweep President C Abdul Khader Haji alleged that she spread "false news about the spread of COVID-19" in the Union Territory during a TV debate.
During the discussion, which took place on 7 June, Sultana had allegedly said that the Centre was using Administrator Praful Patel as a “bioweapon” against Lakshadweep.
She had later clarified online, "I have felt Patel as well as his policies (have acted) as a bioweapon. It was through Patel and his entourage that COVID-19 spread in Lakshadweep."
Sultana was a part of the widespread protest campaigns on the island that brought Patel’s contentious reforms under fire.
Subsequently, Sultana was booked under Sections 124 A (sedition) and 153 B (assertions against national integration) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
What the Petitioner Said
As per Sultana, the sections of IPC invoked against her cannot be employed to penalise her for expressing criticism of the government. She contended that her statement was not a cause of violence that resulted in public disorder and, therefore, could not be termed as 'seditious,' The Hindu reported.
She argued that her intention was not to incite people or disturb public peace.
(With inputs from The Hindu)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.