The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a PIL that sought quashing of a FIR registered against school management, teacher and a widowed mother of a child for alleged sedition has been filed in the Supreme Court by Activist Yogita Bhayana. The PIL also prayed for constitution of a committee to scrutinize all the complaints under 124/A before registration of FIR.
The division bench comprising of Justices A. M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari, while hearing the petition saidthere are already established guidelines on such matters. Justice A. M. Khanwilkar said,”We will hear affected party if he comes. Not at your instance.” The Counsel representing Yogita Bhayana said, “I am a public spirited person but judges didnot agree to listen to him.”
The FIR was registered against a school management, teacher and a widowed mother of a child on 26th January 2020 for sedition, provoking breach of peace and promoting enmity between different groups.
The FIR had been registered at the New Town Police Station, Bidar, Karnataka for enacting a play “criticizing Citizenship Amendment Act, National Citizenship Register & National Population Register”. The teacher and a student’s widowed mother have been a arrested by the police over the charges of sedition and provoking breach of peace. The management of the school was also booked for promoting enmity between different groups.
The petition went on to state that, “despite well settled principle of law laid down by this Apex Court in plethora of judgments, the Karnataka Police failed to distinguish between the academic discourse/artistic endeavour and sedition in a free country and registered a sedition case against the minor school going children and their parents.” The petition also mentioned that the filing of FIR and subsequent proceeding is an abuse of process of law given under Section 124/A of the Indian Penal Code.
The petition filed prayed for the FIR and subsequent proceedings to be quashed as it is violative of Article 21 granted to the victim/accused by the Constitution of India. The petition also prayed for constitution of a committee to scrutinize all the complaints under 124/A before registration of FIR.