Kerala HC grants anticipatory bail to filmmaker Aisha Sultana in Lakshadweep sedition case
Actor Aisha Sultana was booked for sedition for criticising Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patel over pandemic management.
The Kerala High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail plea to activist and filmmaker Aisha Sultana, who is facing a sedition charge over her remarks against Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel.
Though Lakshadweep Administration had argued that she violated quarantine norms while out on interim bail granted by the court, the bench decided to allow her plea for anticipatory bail.
According to a LiveLaw report, Justice Ashok Menon at the Kerala high court passed the order on Sultana's bail application, the same single-judge bench that had earlier granted her anticipatory bail for a week.
The court had earlier granted her interim anticipatory bail and had asked her to appear for interrogation before the investigating officer. The case was registered alleging she said in a news channel discussion that central government is using Covid-19 as a bio-weapon in Lakshadweep.
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.
The case was registered against the filmmaker on June 10 when the Kavaratti Police booked her under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint by Lakshadweep BJP president C Abdul Khadar Haji. Sultana was served a notice under Section 41A Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the police asked her to appear at Lakshadweep Police headquarters in Kavaratti, in connection with the case.
According to a report on The Indian Express, Sultana had undergone an eight-hour-long interrogation on Wednesday, 23 June, during which her social media accounts were examined.
“They checked my WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. They were searching whether I have any links with foreign countries,” Sultana had said.
The Lakshadweep administration had on Thursday informed the Kerala high court that Aisha Sultana flouted the interim protection granted to her by the court. The administration informed the court that the filmmaker was advised to stay in home quarantine except when called for interrogation. It said Sultana met people and talked to the media during her stay, flouting Covid-19 norms. She also visited the panchayat office and attended some functions, it said.
NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona