Bidar Sedition case: Students were "counselled" and not interrogated, State to Karnataka HC
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Bidar Sedition case: Students were "counselled" and not interrogated, State to Karnataka HC

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court today questioned the State about the interrogation of students of Shaheen School at Bidar, in connection with an "anti-CAA" play staged at the school.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice PGM Patil asked the State whether the police was sufficiently trained to interrogate the students.

Responding to this, Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi submitted that the Investigating Officer (IO) had carried out the probe without violating any norms, rules and regulations prescribed under the Police Manual Rules or the Juvenile Justice Act.

To this, the High Court further asked, “Is it the function of the police to counsel the children?"

In reply, AG Navadgi stated that the term used under the Juvenile Justice Act is "counselling". On that note, the students were counselled and not interrogated, AG Navadgi stated.

He further submitted that statements of seven students who participated in the skit and another ten students who watched it were recorded by the IO. Further, while counselling, the officers were dressed in civil clothes and not in police uniform, Navadgi contended.

AG Navadgi also brought to the attention of the Court that the said students were counselled in the presence of teachers, district child protection officers, a juvenile justice officer, and a parent.

On asked whether any more students would be counselled in the matter, AG Navadgi responded in the negative.

The Karnataka High Court has directed the petitioners in the matter to file their rejoinder to the objections filed by State Police on March 6.

The matter is next listed for March 9.

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