Kochi: The Kerala High Court has refused to grant a stay on proceedings in the sedition case registered against Lakshadweep-based film-maker Aisha Sultana. The case was registered by Karavatti police for Sultana’s controversial comments against the central government. The court refused to stay on the grounds that the investigation was at a “nascent stage”.
With reference to the rise in Covid cases on the island, Aisha Sultana had said in an interview to a TV channel on June 7 that the central government had deployed ‘bio weapon’ against the population of the island.
Following the comment, BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president Abdul Khader had lodged a complaint against the film-maker.
Her lawyer had sought an interim stay on proceedings in the case. While seeking for the case to be dismissed, her lawyer had argued that there was no evidence that her statement had resulted in dissatisfaction with the government or triggered violence. It also did not cause any division or harm national unity.
Against this appeal, additional solicitor general of India, who was appearing on behalf of the Lakshadweep administration, submitted that Aisha Sultana’s statements were seditious in nature and that since the investigation was at a preliminary stage, the court’s intervention was not called for.
Justice Ashok Menon, who is hearing the case, observed that the probe was “at its infancy” and that more time would have to be given to the prosecution to collect material for the case.
“It is too early to throw away the prosecution case at the threshold itself,” the court said. The HC directed the Lakshadweep administration and police to inform it about the progress in the case within two weeks.
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