No sedition in school play against CAA, NRC: District court in Bidar rules

The dialogues in the play on CAA and NRC do not lead to hate or contempt towards the government, the district and sessions court judge said
A district and sessions court in Karnataka on Thursday granted anticipatory bail to five management representatives of Shaheen Primary School in Bidar where the alleged seditious play was staged by children on January 21. The court cited a lack of material for a prima facie case of sedition.

"What the children have expressed is that they will have to leave the country if they do not produce the documents and except that, there is nothing to show that the school has committed the offence of sedition," district judge Managoli Premavathi observed while granting bail to members of the school management charged with sedition.

The dialogue does not lead to hate or contempt towards the government, the judge said. 

"Ingredients of Section 124A of IPC (sedition) are not prima facie made out...The drama has not caused any disharmony in the society," the judge stated in her order.

Section 124A of the IPC says that "whoever brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards... the government shall be punished with imprisonment for life...".

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a PIL seeking directions to check misuse of sedition laws and quashing of FIRs registered against several persons in connection with an “anti-CAA play at a school in Bidar, Karnataka.

The case caught the public eye after two women - the mother of an 11-year-old student and a teacher at the school - were arrested on charges of sedition over a play staged in the school on January 21. Nazbunnissa, the mother of a student who delivered dialogues about Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the play, and Fareeda Begum, the head teacher of the school's primary section were arrested based on a complaint by a right-wing activist alleging sedition. The play voiced dissent against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) and was staged by students of classes 4,5, and 6.

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