The Lakshadweep administration on Wednesday filed a statement in the Kerala High Court opposing the anticipatory bail application filed by filmmaker Aisha Sultana who was booked under sedition charges by the police in the islands.
In its statement, the administration submitted that the bail application is not maintainable as the petitioner has not pointed out any precise reason for any genuine and bonafide “reason to believe” that she will be arrested.
It said the crime was registered on June 9 for the offences under section 124-A (sedition) and 153 B (hate speech) of IPC on the basis of a petition lodged by a political leader residing at Kavaratti.
The allegation is that the filmmaker, while participating in a debate telecast by a Malayalam news channel on June 7, made an assertion that the Central Government has used biological weapon against the people of Lakshadweep.
The police examined the statements made by her during the debate by watching the video available in YouTube and found that the offences under section 124 A and 153 B of the IPC are prima facie attracted, the statement, filed following the directive of the court which considered the anticipatory bail plea on Tuesday, said.
The administration submitted that Sultana made a specific baseless assertion having serious consequences against the Central Government established by law.
“She clarified, despite being cautioned by the anchor, that she stands by what she asserted and also stated that she is ready to face any actions for making such a statement,” it said.
The administration further submitted that in plain terms she has alleged that the Central Government used Covid pandemic as a bio-weapon against the people of Lakshadweep.
She also compared it with the allegation that China has used COVID virus as a bio-weapon against other countries which clearly suggests that the Government of India has acted similarly against the people of Lakshadweep.
“It is most humbly submitted that the baseless assertion by the petitioner (Sultana) in this regard is sufficient to arouse hatred or contempt among the people of Lakshadweep towards the Government of India,” it said.
Noting that it can be prima facie considered as an attempt to excite disaffection among the people towards the Government of India, the administration said the statement made by her has a tendency to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence.
“It also prima facie amounts to an assertion prejudicial to national integration,” it said.
In her plea, Sultana has submitted that she has been directed to appear at the police headquarters at Kavaratti, Lakshadweep on June 20 for interrogation.
She submitted that there is a possibility of her arrest, if she reaches Kavaratti.
The court will consider the bail plea on Thursday.