Read Judgement: Rajina Parbin Sultana v. State of Assam 

By LE Staff

Guwahati, July 3, 2021: The Gauhati High Court has granted bail to a person who was booked for sedition after a picture had emerged on Facebook showing her and a few others having lunch while using a table cloth that resembled India’s national flag. 

An FIR was registered under sections 120B/124A of the IPC and Section 2 of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1971 on May 15, while stating that the accused and other persons had wilfully dishonoured the national flag by using the same as a table cloth on the dining table while eating food.

The accused was in custody since May 16, 2021. Challenging the same, her counsel prayed for bail contending that even if the accusations made in the FIR are prima facie accepted to be true, the same could not be brought within the purview of the offence under IPC section 124A (sedition). 

A Single Bench of Justice Manish Choudhury observed that the question whether the accused-petitioner by her act had committed the offence under section 2 of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1971 in any public place or any other place within public view is to be considered on the basis of the materials collected during the course of investigation and its admissibility during the course of trial. 

The Bench also clarified that it does not prima facie suggest to be an act to have the affect of subverting the government by bringing that government into contempt or hatred or creating disaffection against it. 

The High Court released the accused on bail without expressing any final opinion with regard to the fulfilment of the ingredients of the offences, noting that custodial detention would not be necessary for the purpose of carrying out investigation of the case and the release will not likely cause any prejudicial effect in further investigation. 

The Court directed the accused to furnish a bail bond of Rs. 20,000 with one local surety of the same amount to the satisfaction of the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, North Salmara, Abhayapuri.

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