Aisha Sultana Sedition Case: Kerala HC Refuses To Stay Further Proceedings

Aisha Sultana refutes Administration allegations

Kerala HC on Aisha Sultana: The Kerala High Court on Friday refused to stay proceedings in the case against Aisha Sultana, the Lakshadweep filmmaker caught in a sedition case for her ‘bioweapon’ remark she made on television.

Observing the case is in its “infancy” stage, the court said the prosecution will have to be given more time to build on investigations, and quashed Sultana’s appeal for an interim order that would stay proceedings. It was “too early to throw away” the prosecution case, the court said, as quoted by The Hindu

The Karavatti police have filed an FIR against Sultana. She was granted anticipatory bail by the court on June 26.

Kerala HC On Aisha Sultana: Case Is In “Infancy” Stage

Reportedly Lakshadweep’s first woman filmmaker, Sultana appeared on a regional news channel, alleging the centre was using Praful Khoda Patel, administrator of the union territory, as a “bioweapon” against local communities. Patel’s proposed policies have drawn criticism from Lakshadweep locals for the purported risk of employment losses they could bring. More here.

A case against Sultana was registered under various IPC sections based on a complaint by Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Lakshadweep unit president C Abdul Khader Haji, who claimed her television remarks were “anti-national.” She was served a notice under Section 41A Code of CrPC and asked to appear before the police. A timeline here.

The petition for Sultana argued sedition charges invoked hatred, displeasure or violence towards the government which were not applicable to the filmmaker’s case since criticism or discussion of politics was not a sedition offence. The counsel added her words did not provoke disharmony.

Following Sultana’s controversy, protests broke out in the union territory with several activists and industry colleagues coming out in her support. Over a dozen BJP leaders on Lakshadweep resigned as a mark of dissent. Read more here.