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A Bidar Court has today granted bail to the Headmistress of Shaheen School and the mother of a student, both of whom were charged with sedition for an "anti-CAA" play conducted at the school.
The Court has directed that both women be released on a bond of Rs. 1,00,000/- each along with two sureties. Further the Court has directed them to cooperate with the investigation and appear before the Investigating Officer as and when required.
The order was passed by Principal District & Sessions Judge MP Mallikarjuna in the bail plea filed on behalf of Fareeda Begum (Headmistress) and Najbunnissa (mother of the school student).
Advocate BT Venkatesh, appearing on behalf of the two arrested women, had earlier argued that the contents of the play did not amount to sedition.
The Court had then replied that it is the responsibility of the elders to read the script before children stage it.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Advocate Venkatesh stated that,
"This is such a relief. But the trauma that the child had to go through is unparalleled. The entire sedition law is being badly implemented. When the State is oppressive, it is Judiciary that has to come to the rescue."
Fareeda Begum and Najbunnissa were arrested by the Bidar Police on a complaint filed by a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The complaint stated that a play staged by classes 4, 5 and 6 students of Shaheen Schoolon the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) contained dialogue that insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Najbunnissa's 11-year-old daughter was alleged to have uttered the "seditious" dialogue.
Subsequently, the State Police authorities had filed an FIR against the management of the school. The main allegation against the school administration was that it facilitated the spreading of false information about the newly passed CAA, spread negative opinions about the Parliament's laws among students, and further contributed to communal tension.
The police arrested Fareeda Begum and Najbunnissa on the basis of the complaint, on January 30. The duo has been in prison since then.
The Karnataka High Court today issued notice in the PIL filed seeking action against the police for illegally questioning minor students of Shaheen Education Society in Bidar over a play concerning the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) staged last month. (Nayana Jyothi Jhawar v. State of Karnataka)
However, the Court has refused to pass interim orders, stating that the interrogation of students cannot be stopped altogether.