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Aysha Sulthana Approaches Kerala HC for Anticipatory Bail in Lakshadweep Sedition Case

File Image of Ayesha Sulthana

File Image of Ayesha Sulthana

Aysha, during a news debate on a regional channel, had criticised the mishandling of the Covid situation by the Administrator, alleging that the Centre had used "bio-weapon" against Lakshadweep.

Aysha Sulthana, the filmmaker from Lakshadweep, has approached the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail in the sedition case filed against her by the Kavaratti police in Lakshadweep. She was directed to appear before the Kavaratti police on June 20.

She apprehends imminent arrest and detention for having allegedly committed non-bailable offences and approached the court. The case was filed following a complaint by C Abdul Khader Haji, the President of the BJP unit in Lakshadweep, on a comment she made during a television debate.

Aysha Sulthana, during a news debate on a regional channel, had criticised the mishandling of the Covid situation by the Administrator, alleging that the Centre had used “bio-weapon" against Lakshadweep.

Grounds under which Ayesha sought anticipatory bail

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Aysha Sulthana had been falsely implicated in this case with ulterior motives and vexatious intentions, the application said.

Protest is primarily against the revised and relaxed SOP in the Covid-19 quarantine protocol. Till January 2021 not a single case of Covid-19 was reported on the island owing to the strict quarantine system. The new administrator brought in several new relaxations. Lakshadweep is now seeing an exponential rise in Covid-19 patients. It was in this context while explaining the said situation that such a remark was allegedly made by her, Aysha Sulthana told the court.

She only intended to say that it was due to the apathetic approach and reforms of the new administrator that a serious threat is being caused to the lives of the people of the island and had absolutely no intention of exciting disaffection towards the Government.

On learning that her statement has given rise to several controversies she had immediately taken to her social media account wherein she explained her stand and apologised for the statements made.

So the case does not qualify to be one of sedition as the prosecution fails to satisfy the requisites necessary to constitute an offence under section 124A IPC, the application said.

For an offence to fall under the ambit of section 124A IPC, the words spoken or written has to bring about hatred, contempt or displeasure against a Government established by law and such words should have resulted in imminent violence. There is no case that the statement of the applicant has created disaffection towards the Government or a case of imminent violence sparked by the words spoken by her, the application said.

The offences under section 153B of the IPC also will not stand against her as the words spoken is not prejudicial to national integration or causing disharmony or feelings of enmity or hatred or ill-will.

She does not have any other criminal antecedents and is ready and willing to abide by any conditions as deemed fit to be imposed by the Court, it said.

She does not have the might or the means to tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses if any, the application said.

Meanwhile, Lakshadweep is observing a “black day “ protest as the administrator Prafulla Konda Patel is returning to the islands today.

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first published:June 14, 2021, 16:45 IST