Title : THE SEDITION LAW
Date : Dec 12, 2021
Topic à Government Policies & Interventions
- What exactly is sedition:
- "Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the government established by law in shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with fine."
- Do we require a proper definition of sedition:
- For far too long, the sedition legislation has been a source of contention. Governments are frequently chastised for using Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to prosecute vociferous critics of their policies.
- As a result, this Section is viewed as a restriction on people's freedom of expression, and it falls short of the Constitution's provisions for justifiable restrictions on freedom of speech in Article 19.
- Since the colonial British overlords enacted the statute in the 1860s, it has been the subject of heated discussion. Several prominent liberation fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, were charged with sedition.
- It is the "prince among the political provisions of the Indian Penal Code designed to restrict the citizen's liberty," according to Mahatma Gandhi.
- It was "very offensive and obnoxious," according to Nehru, and "should have no place in any body of laws that we might pass." "The sooner we get rid of it, the better," Nehru replied.
- Relevant Supreme Court decisions include:
- The Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case (1962): In the Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case (1962), a five-judge Supreme Court constitutional bench laid out some guiding principles when dealing with offences under Section 124A of the IPC.
- The court decided that comments expressing disapproval of the government's activities without provoking public disruption through acts of violence would not be punished.
- The Supreme Court clarified in Balwant Singh versus State of Punjab (1995) that just screaming slogans, in this case Khalistan Zindabad, did not constitute sedition.
- The sedition legislation is clearly being misunderstood and abused to silence opposition.
- Source à The Hindu à 11/12/21 à Page Number 1
Tags : 124A of the IPC, The Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case