PIL filed in SC for quashing FIR on play against CAA

PIL filed in SC for quashing FIR on play against CAA in Bidar school

Supreme Court of India. (PTI Photo)

A rights activist has approached the Supreme Court for a direction to quash a sedition FIR registered on January 26 in connection with a play organised at Shaheen School, at Bidar in Karnataka criticising CAA-NPR-NRC.

She contended the subsequent actions, including the arrest of a teacher and a widowed mother, and questioning of children were an abuse of the process and violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens.

Petitioner, Yogita Bhayana, through her lawyer Utsav Singh Bains sought a direction to put in place a mechanism to prevent misuse of sedition law and set up a committee to scrutinise complaints before registering an FIR under Section 124A of the IPC.

The petitioner claimed that the Karnataka police, despite the well-settled principle of law and several judgments of the apex court, failed to distinguish between academic discourse and artistic endeavor and the serious criminal act of sedition by lodging the FIR and arresting the teacher and the widowed mother of a student.

She cited various landmark judgments including the Kedar Nath Singh Vs State of Bihar (1962) on the validity of Section 124A of the IPC, where the SC had said, “a citizen has a right to say whatever he likes about the government or its policies but should not incite violence.”

A trial court had on February 14 granted bail to the teacher, Fareeda Begum, and Najbunnisa, the mother of class IV student who uttered allegedly anti-Modi slur in her dialogue during the staging of the play on January 21.