No stay on sedition case against Lakshadweep filmmaker Ayesha Sulthana

On Friday when her petition came up before the high court, the Centre presented that the investigation has only just started.

Kochi: Lakshadweep film personality Ayesha Sulthana, who has been in news ever since her controversial remark on a local TV channel, on Friday suffered a setback when the Kerala High Court refused to stay a sedition case registered against her by the Kavaratti police.

Though she 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.

On Friday when her petition came up before the high court, the Centre presented that the investigation has only just started.

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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.

Sulthana 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 Sulthana 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.

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