Lakshadweep Protests : Kerala High Court Issues Orders For Release Of Detained Island Residents

Chief Judicial Magistrate at Amini, Lakshadweep was directed by the Kerala High Court to take up the case of persons who were recently arrested for protesting against the Administration’s policies.

The islands of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep have been involved in protests by residents against the Administration’s recent proposed reforms due to which some were arrested.

The court stated that- “The most important concern for us is the liberty of the persons who are in custody. They shall not be deprived of the means of access to justice.”

The petitioner contended that FIRs were registered against the protestor for bailable offences under Section 285, 500, 120B , and 143 r/w 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 51(b) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
However, they were not granted bail even five days after they were remanded in custody.

The respondant argued that the protesters were taken into custody after some of them burned effigies of the District Collector ans video of the same were spread in all over media.

The court noted that one of the prisoner had tested positive for COVID-19, thus posing a threat to the health of the other 22 people who had been detained along with him.

Moreover, the court held that
physical presence of the persons in custody would not be necessary instead they were directed to be produced before the CJM through video conferencing.

The Court also ordered the Medical Officer of Kilthan Island to examine the health condition of all detainees. In case any person is tested positive they were exempted from hearing before the CJM.

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