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Thu 17 June 2021:

The Kerala High Court has reserved its orders on an anticipatory bail plea filed by filmmaker Aisha Sultana, who hails from Chetlat island in Lakshadweep and works in the Malayalam film industry. The High Court however granted her interim anticipatory bail for a week and said that Aisha who faces a case of sedition will have to appear before the police for interrogation under Section 41A CrPC notice. The court also directed that in case the police arrest her, she should be granted interim bail after arrest.

Aisha was booked last week under charges of sedition for criticising Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patel and alleging during a television channel debate that the Union government used a “bio-weapon” in the Union territory.


Though Aisha later said that she meant that Praful Patel relaxing the lockdown rules had led to COVID-19 cases in the island, which is what she meant as bio terror, the Lakshadweep police booked her on June 8 based on a complaint filed by BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president, Abdul Khader 

Senior advocate P Vijayabhanu who appeared for Aisha Sultana argued that the word bioweapon was used to criticize the relaxation that was brought in Lakshadweep. He also cited the Supreme Court judgement in ‘Vinod Dua’ case that mere strong words do not count as an act of sedition. He also argued that custodial interrogation is not necessary in the case.

However, the counsel for Lakshadweep argued that Aisha had alleged that the Government of India used bio weapons against residents and referred to the term. He said that her noxious assertion had been a trigger in unrest in Lakshadweep. The counsel also argued that Aisha in the same TV debate had spoken about bio-weapons used by China.




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