Thiruvananthapuram: Lakshadweep film producer Aisha Sultana, charged under the sedition laws for her use of the term bio weapon to describe the island administration’s measures against Covid, has been asked by the Kerala High Court to present herself for questioning by the island police next Sunday. But the court allowed her interim anticipatory bail, and ordered that she should be granted bail if the police chose to arrest her.
The order is valid for a week. The Centre informed the court that she would be allowed to go to Lakshadweep for the questioning without the need to undergo quarantine as per the Covid protocol. The court’s order to this effect came after the island administration informed the court that she has been served the notice only for questioning.
Aisha Sultana had said in her petition that the police has filed the case on the basis of a misrepresentation of her remark in a television channel debate and that she feared arrest. She said she did not realise that the use of the term bio-weapon would be so much problematic and that she had expressed regret over it in the social media and she had no intention to create hatred against the government.
The island administration opposed her plea saying that she was not just criticising the government, but comparing India to China while alleging the use of bio-weapon on the island. It argued that the sedition charge would stand although her remark did not lead to any violence. The administration argued that her statement was strong enough to cause disaffection even among school-going children.
The court has refused permission to the original complainant Pratheesh Vishwanath of the BJP to join as a party to the hearing of Aisha Sultana’s bail application.