The district and sessions court in Bidar has stated that the contents of the play staged in Shaheen Primary and High School in January did not prima facie amount to 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 he has committed the offence of sedition. The dialogue in my considered opinion does not go to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection towards the government," district judge Managoli Premavathi observed while granting bail to members of the school management charged with sedition.
The judge noted that the drama did not cause any disharmony in society and cited lack of grounds for sedition. "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.
The case caught the public eye after two women - the mother of a 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 uttered 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.
Police officials in Bidar were criticised for turning up at the school five times, including once in uniform, to question students involved in the play. The women were finally granted bail after spending two weeks in jail. The 11-year-old student initially stayed with her neighbour as her mother is a widow. She later shifted to the school hostel before returning home after her mother's release from jail.
In addition to the two women, Mohammed Yousuf Rahim, a journalist, Abdul Qadir, President of Shaheen group of institutions, and four members of the school management were also booked for sedition. However, they were not arrested by the police and six of them were granted anticipatory bail by the Bidar district court. Mohammed Yousuf Rahim was booked for uploading a video of the play on social media and he was absconding after the video of the play was shared widely. "If at all it were not uploaded on facebook, even the public could not come to know about the dialogue of that drama," noted judge Managoli Premavathi.