Plea in Kerala HC questions delay in arresting Rehana Fathima

Kochi: A petition has been moved in the Kerala High Court questioning the delay in arresting activist Rehana Fathima in a case against her for posting a video online of her minor children painting on her half-naked body on social media.

The petition, filed by Thiruvalla resident advocate AV Arun Prakash on Wednesday, pointed out that the investigating officer failed to arrest Fathima despite the High Court dismissing her plea for anticipatory bail on July 24.

It sought directions to change the investigating officer citing the delay and to hand over the investigation to an assistant commissioner so as to complete the probe without delay.

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One of the two cases against the activist was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by the petitioner.

Alleging delay in arresting the accused, the petition said the FIR was registered on June 25 but police have failed to arrest her. If it was some other accused involved in some minor offence, police would have resorted to coercive measures by now, the petitioner contended.

“Within 10 minutes of the court dismissing her bail plea, Rehana uploaded a video criticising the judiciary and challenging the findings,” the plea alleged adding that she was seen mocking the entire system of law and judiciary in her new video.

Recently, the Kerala High Court had refused to grant pre-arrest bail to her and observed that the video amounted to an obscene representation of children for the purposes of “sexual gratification” and attract offences under Section 13 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and Section 67B of Information Technology Act (IT Act).

Subsequently, Fathima approached the Supreme Court seeking anticipatory bail, which is pending before the apex court, in the matter.

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