27 July 2021 2:10 PM GMT
Lakshadweep filmmaker Aisha Sultana refuted allegations of the Administration that she was not cooperating with the investigation in the sedition case in the reply filed before Kerala High Court, claiming that the authority was in a hurry to make her look like an 'anti-national'.The Lakshadweep Administration, in its latest reply opposing Sulthana's petition to quash the FIR registered...
Lakshadweep filmmaker Aisha Sultana refuted allegations of the Administration that she was not cooperating with the investigation in the sedition case in the reply filed before Kerala High Court, claiming that the authority was in a hurry to make her look like an 'anti-national'.
The Lakshadweep Administration, in its latest reply opposing Sulthana's petition to quash the FIR registered against her, had contended that the filmmaker was not cooperating with the investigation and that she had erased text messages and communications from her mobile phone and refused to provide documents sought by the police.
Advocate K A Akbar is representing the filmmaker in the case.
Responding to the aforementioned allegations, Sultana claimed that she had not deleted any material from her phone, and submitted that her phone was seized by the police without any prior information or direction regarding the same.
She further alleged that after seizing her phone and her brother's laptop on 25th June, the devices were not produced before the trial court till 15th July. Sultana also argued that she still does not know in whose custody it was during that time gap.
"The allegation that on scrutiny of the mobile phone of the petitioner, some media files and chat history of social media platforms were found deleted is utter falsehood. The petitioner has not deleted any chats from her social media or any other internet-based platforms. The allegation that text messages were deleted is false," the reply reads.
"Since the chain of custody is lost, the prosecution's intention is very clear. They will tamper with the mobile phone," the petitioner alleged. It was also added that both the aforementioned devices have been sent to a forensic lab in Gujarat, instead of labs in Hyderabad, Chennai, or Kerala which is a deviation from the prevalent practice.
Additionally, the Administration had accused her of being in contact with certain people and that she was looking into her mobile phone and reading something when she appeared in channel debate. However, in her reply, the petitioner submitted that her mobile phone was switched off during that relevant hour.
"The prosecution deliberately circumvented the chain of custody of both electronic devices seized in this case which provided an opportunity for them to install any material according to their whims and fancies, which is prejudicial to the interest of the petitioner," her reply stated.
Countering the allegation that she did not supply the documents sought by the police, Sulthana replied that the court has not directed her to surrender her passport to the investigating officer. She also submitted that she has given scanned colour copies and photocopies of all the documents, including her passport, Aadhaar card, etc since the original documents were required for day-to-day activities.
For the aforementioned reasons, she argued that the allegation that she has not cooperated with the investigation is false and is intended to mislead the court. The petitioner also found it 'absurd' that her philanthropic activities were charged as anti-national.
"Even after disclosing the persons behind the philanthropic activity and the services done by the petitioner with the help of friends through local police officials, this investigation never looked into such aspects and is making the petitioners position as an anti-national who received money to make seditious comments," she added.
"The petitioner has been facing this kind of harassment and trauma, raids, long hour interrogations for several days, only because the petitioner criticized the Administrator who was not observing any quarantine rules himself or his staff," she claimed. In her reply, she again urged the court to quash the FIR and the proceedings emanating from it.
The Court had earlier refused to stay the proceedings against the filmmaker citing that the investigation in the case was at a preliminary stage and more time may be required for completing the probe.
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