The Supreme Court on July 11 stayed the arrest of a woman lawyer who took part in a fact-finding mission to violence-hit Manipur and subsequently held a press meet for the National Federation of Indian Women.
Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India D. Y. Chandrachud in an urgent mentioning, senior advocate Siddharth Dave said the lawyer, Deeksha Dwivedi, has been accused of sedition and conspiracy to wage war against India among other offences.
Mr. Dave said Ms. Dwivedi was a lawyer for four years and she was part of three-member team which visited Manipur and then held the press conference.
“We learn that the offences are Section 121A, 124A, 153, 153A, and 153B of the Indian Penal Code. Two of the offences are punishable with life imprisonment,” Mr. Dave said.
He informed the court that his client had not yet received a copy of the FIR. The CJI asked Mr. Dave to serve a copy of the petition to the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who has been representing the State of Manipur in the apex court.
“She is a member of our Bar. There is an apprehension that she might likely be arrested. She does not have a copy of the FIR,” Chief Justice Chandrachud addressed Mr. Mehta, who was present in the courtroom. He informed that the petitioner was yet to receive a copy of the FIR.
“The Solicitor General may take instructions on the background of the case. List on Friday. Till 5 p.m. on Friday, no coercive steps will be taken against the petitioner,” the court recorded in its interim order.