Lakshadweep activist Aisha Sultana asked to appear before the police on June 20 for interrogation
Sultana's counsel submitted that the custodial interrogation is not needed in the case and the counter affidavit filed by the Kavaratti police also not mentioning about custodial interrogation.
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed filmmaker Aisha Sultana accused of sedition case to appear before the Kavaratti police for interrogation on June 20. She had allegedly stated that the central government had used 'bio-weapon' against islanders.
While passing the interim order, Justice Ashok Menon held that in the event of arrest, she should be released on interim anticipatory bail for one week on the execution of Rs 50000 with two solvent sureties for the like sum to the satisfaction of the arresting officer. The court has reserved its final order in her bail application. The court also granted her permission to insist on the assistance of an advocate during interrogation as contemplated under section 41 (d) of CrPC after the arrest, if any.
When the case came up for hearing, Senior Advocate P Vijayabhanu, counsel for Aisha Sultana, submitted that the custodial interrogation is not needed in the case and the counter affidavit filed by the Kavaratti police also not mentioning about custodial interrogation. She had made the statement during a heated discussion on the TV Channel and she did not know the implications of her statement. When she realised her mistake, she had tendered an apology for making the remarks. She is willing to cooperate with the probe and ready to appear before the police based on the notice issued under 41 A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Opposing the bail plea, S Manu, counsel for Lakshadweep Administration, submitted that the act of the petitioner amounts to sedition. She had criticised the centre government in harsh words. It was a harmful statement and made intentionally. "She may be a good actor in the reel, but she seems a good actor in real life as well. She is pretending as an innocent after making the statement," submitted the counsel.
She had practically sowed the seeds of separatism in the minds of the Lakshadweep people by making the assertion. Criticizing a government or its policies is much different from making totally baseless, ill-motivated and noxious assertions capable of exciting the feeling of disaffection, hatred and contempt against government established by law. The apologies or explanations made to avoid legal consequences will not absolve the criminal liability for the offences already completed. Prima facie she has committed offences under Sections 124 A (sedition) and 153 B (assertions against national integration) of the Indian Penal Code. The police did not act in a haste manner in the case. The police had received a complaint and after asserting the situation, the FIR registered against her. Ten days time has granted her to appear before the police as the notice was issued on June 10, pointed out the counsel.