The Manipuri activist, who has been on a fast for over 12 years demanding repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in her home state, did not appear before the court despite its October 30 direction in that regard.
    
Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain issued the production warrant for January 30 next year. The matter is fixed for recording of prosecution evidence in the case.
    
During the proceedings, Sharmila's counsel appeared before the court.
    
On March 4, the court had put 40-year-old Sharmila on trial after she had refused to plead guilty for the offence of attempting to commit suicide (section 309 IPC).
    
If convicted, Sharmila, who is out on bail in this case, faces a maximum one-year jail term.
    
Popularly known as the ‘Iron Lady’, Sharmila had earlier said that her protest was non-violent. She has been on fast since 2000 and is fed through a nasal tube.
    
Rejecting the charge that she had attempted suicide in 2006, she had told the court, "I do not want to commit suicide. Mine is only a non-violent protest. It is my demand to live as a human being. I love life. I do not want to take my life but I want justice and peace."

While framing charges against the activist, the court had said, "It is alleged against you (Sharmila) that you on October 4, 2006 at about 8 pm sat at Jantar Mantar on a fast unto death till 11:30 pm on October 6, 2006 and refused to get your medical checkup done and thereby, committed an act with an intention or knowledge that under such circumstances death may be caused and, thereby, committed an offence under Section 309 of IPC."
    
Earlier, Sharmila's counsel had requested the magistrate that due to ill health, the activist may not be asked to appear before the court repeatedly.
    
The magistrate, however, had said that if she was not in a position to appear, an appropriate application for exemption should be moved on her behalf.
    
The counsel had said that Sharmila has already spent one year in judicial custody which is the maximum sentence for the offence under Section 309 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

(Agencies)

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