Kerala HC grants anticipatory bail to Aisha Sultana

The Kerala High Court has on Friday granted Anticipatory Bail to Aisha Sultana in the Sedition Case.

Justice Ashok Menon passed the order on a bail application filed by the Lakshadweep filmmaker Aisha Sultana seeking anticipatory bail after an FIR was registered against her under Section 124A and 153B of IPC.

The filmmaker was booked for her remarks on a media channel that the Centre had deployed Covid 19 as a ‘bio weapon’ against the people of Lakshadweep. Accordingly, she was asked to appear before the Kavaratti Police Station on 20th June 2021, which prompted the bail application.

The Single Bench had on 17th June granted her interim anticipatory bail for a week, while also granting her the right to invoke Section 41D CrPC, implying that if an arrest is recorded after her interrogation, she is entitled to demand the presence of her counsel.

She was also directed to comply with the notice and appear for the interrogation before the concerned authorities by the said interim order. As a result, it is reported that she appeared before the Kavaratti Police Station on the said date.

Thereafter, the Lakshadweep Administration had on Thursday filed an application submitting that Aisha Sultana had virtually abused the interim protection granted by the Court by violating the prevailing Covid protocol in the Union Territory.

The application sought permission to file a caution notice issued by the Chairman of Disaster Management Authority to the accused in the bail matter pending before the Court. It was urged by the Administration that this document was necessary to decide the matter.

The caution notice was issued to the filmmaker for allegedly violating the the mandatory home quarantine as advised by the Authority, thereby putting the lives of interrogating officer at risk.

The main contention in the said application was that her behaviour was inconsistent with her protests against the Centre’s relaxation of Covid restrictions on the islands. The Standing Counsel Manu S on behalf of the Administration had also pressed that she had no regard for the restrictions imposed to break the chain of the ongoing pandemic.

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