Guwahati High Court grants bail to person booked under sedition law for using a table cloth resembling Indian National Flag
The Guwahati High Court has granted bail to a guy charged with sedition after a photograph showed the accused and a few others eating lunch at a dining table with a tablecloth that resembled the Indian National Flag surfaced on Facebook (Rajina Parbin Sultana v. State of Assam). The accused was freed on bail by single-judge Justice Manish Choudhury, who noted that incarceration would not be essential for the investigation of the case and that the release would not be likely to prejudice the inquiry. The accused was ordered to post a Rs. 20,000 bail bond with one local surety in the same amount to the satisfaction of the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, North Salmara, Abhayapuri. "The accused-petitioner shall maintain peace and order and shall not commit an offence similar to that of which she is accused or of which she is suspected," the Court stated. Rajina Parbin Sultana, the accused-petitioner, had invited some friends to her residence for lunch on the occasion of the Eid celebration. Six people have been charged with wilfully disgracing the Indian National Flag by using it as a table cloth on the dining table while eating. On May 15, a FIR was filed under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 120B/ 124A and Section 2 of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1971. Because she had been in detention since May 16, 2021, the accused-petitioner addressed the High Court under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, requesting her release on bail. The prosecutor, on the other hand, claimed that the evidence gathered thus far in the course of the inquiry was insufficient to form a prima facie opinion on the offence outlined under Section 124A of the IPC.
It was recognised that the accused's action did not appear to be an act with the intent of subverting the government by bringing it into contempt, hostility, or fostering disaffection against it.
The Court went on to grant bail to the accused without giving a final judgement on whether the ingredients of the offences were met.