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Bidar school play sedition case: Supreme Court dismisses PIL for mechanism to scrutinise sedition complaints before FIRs are lodged

Bar & Bench

The Supreme Court on Friday quashed a PIL, filed by activist Yogita Bhayana in the wake of the Bidar sedition case, that had urged for devising a new mechanism to scrutinise sedition complaints before FIRs are lodged.

The PIL was filed by Bhayani in the wake a sedition charges being levelled against the mother of a student, the Headmistress, and the management of Shaheen School in Bidar, after a play that was allegedly critical of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was staged at the school. The plea had also sought for the FIRs filed in the matter to be quashed.

The Headmistress of the school and a student’s widowed mother were arrested by the state police on January 30 over charges of sedition and for provoking breach of peace. Further, the management of Shaheen School was also booked for 'promoting enmity between different groups' under Sections 124(A) and 153(A) of IPC.

The PIL filed by Bhayani had contended that the police in this case had failed to distinguish between academic discourse and sedition in a free country.

The plea had gone to to pray for a direction to the state to constitute a committee to scrutinize complaints under 124A (Sedition) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) before registration of an FIR.

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