Kerala HC refuses to quash sedition case against Aisha Sultanatext_fields
Kochi: The sedition case against Lakshadweep based filmmaker Aisha Sultana cannot be quashed right away, ruled the Kerala High Court on Friday.
Though Aisha has been given anticipatory bail by the court, she approached the court again with a fresh petition to quash the FIR registered against her, for which she was in the island last week and presented herself for three days before the police for their questioning.
Sultana had made it clear in her petition that her criticism had not led to any kind of chaos. Criticising the government is no crime and charging those who criticise the administration with sedition is nothing but abuse of the law, Sultana had added.
On Friday when her petition came up before the high court, the Union govt presented that the investigation has only just started.
The court then observed that the investigation is in the preliminary stages and hence it was not possible to quash the case nor could a stay be given at the present moment.
The court also added that whether to cancel the case can only be decided after the investigation into the case progressed.
The court has also sought all the information the police procured from Aisha during her hours-long interrogation sessions. It may consider these data before reaching a final judgement. The court had asked the Lakshadweep Police to hand over all the data regarding Aisha's case.
Sultana had landed in the legal soup when a complaint was registered by Lakshadweep's BJP unit president Abdul Khader against her after she had in a TV channel debate, here on June 7, said that the "Centre used biological weapons for the spread of Covid in Lakshadweep", which according to the complainant was anti-national.
She had immediately apologised for her statement while taking part in the TV debate, but the island police decided to go proceed with action based on the complaint.The Kavaratti police registered a case against her with non bailable charges (sedition) and had asked to appear before the police on June 20.
The notice that was served on Sultana by Sub Inspector Ameer Bin Mohammed contained charges under 124 A and 153 B of the CrPC, both of which were non-bailable offences.
Kerala High Court had granted her interim bail and directed the police, in case she was needed to be arrested, she should be given bail immediately.
She reached the island and presented herself before the police and was questioned for three days. The high court also accepted her anticipatory bail plea during this time.
Incidentally, following the move by Khader, several BJP leaders and workers in the island resigned from the party.
Sulthana hails from Chelath Island in Lakshadweep, and is based here. Besides being a model, she has worked in numerous films in Malayalam.