Karnataka High Court quashes sedition case against Shaheen School Management

New Delhi: The Karnataka High Court Kalaburagi Bench on Wednesday quashed sedition and other charges that were registered against Shaheen School management by a right wing leader from Bidar for making satirical comments in a play critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central government.

Justice Hemant Chandangoudar quashed the case after hearing Senior Counsel Amit Kumar Deshpande on behalf of Shaheen School Management.

A sedition was slapped against Shaheen School, a private school in Karnataka’s Bidar for staging anti-CAA themed play by class 4 students in January 2020. It was alleged that the scripted play had communal slurs and anti-Modi slogans.

The Bidar police had lodged an FIR under sections 504, 505(2), 124(A) and 153 (A) of the IPC, based on the complaint by one Neelesh Rakshyala.

Shaheen Group of institutions contested the allegations and said that the Police were treating the children as “anti-nationals” and visiting the school daily.

On August 17, 2021, the Bangalore Bench of the Karnataka High Court made a statement stating that the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015 and children’s rights were violated by the presence of armed police officers while questioning children in connection with the same case.
The current MLA of Mudigere constituency, Nayana Jyothi Jhawar, filed this petition in relation to children’s rights. The petition claimed that 85 students, some of whom were as young as nine years old, had to endure police questioning, which had an adverse effect on children’s psychology.

Speaking to The Hindustan Gazette Dr. Abdul Qadeer Chairman Shaheen Group of Institutions expressed his belief in the court’s ability to deliver justice. He thanked advocates, the media, and other friends for their support during challenging times.

CRL.P 200126/2020

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