The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the central government whether there was a need for a sedition law after 75 years of independence, saying it was a colonial law and was used against freedom fighters.
According to Suchitra Mohanty, a senior journalist covering the Supreme Court, a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramanna, stating that the sedition law was used against freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, asked why it was not repealed. can be done.
Chief Justice NV Ramanna asked Attorney General KK Venugopal “Your government has repealed many old laws, I don’t know why your government is considering repeal of Section 124A of IPC (which deals with the offense of sedition). not doing it?”
The bench questioned, “This is a colonial law, it was meant to suppress the freedom movement, the same law was used by the British against Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak etc. Is this law still needed after 75 years of independence? is?”
law expressed concern about the misuse of
The Chief Justice said that the Supreme Court will consider the petition challenging the constitutional validity of Section 124-A.
The bench said, “The situation is grave. If one party does not like what the other is saying, then section 124-A is invoked. It is a serious threat to the functioning of individuals and parties.”
The Supreme Court has expressed concern about the misuse of such laws. Giving the example of section 66-A, the court said that even after its cancellation, cases were being registered under it.
The Supreme Court said, “These provisions have been misused, but there is no accountability. Our concern is about misuse of law and lack of accountability. Why is it in the law book even after 75 years of our independence.”
The Attorney General, on behalf of the Central Government, told the bench that there is no need to repeal Section 124-A and only guidelines should be laid down so that this section can fulfill its legal purpose.
Hearing on the petition of former army officer
The apex court told the Attorney General that the conviction rate under Section 124-A is very low.
The bench issued notice to the Center on a plea by a former army officer challenging the constitutional validity of the sedition law. The court also linked other pending petitions similar to this.
The bench said that the petitioner has devoted his entire life in the service of the country, so he does not consider it as a motivated petition.
The petition, filed by Major General SG Wombatkere (Retd), challenges the constitutional validity of the sedition law on the ground that it has a “profound” effect on expression and does not include freedom of expression, which is a fundamental right. Cause creates hindrance.
He said Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with the offense of sedition, is completely unconstitutional and should be “explicitly abolished”.
Earlier, a separate bench of the apex court had sought the Centre’s response on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the sedition law filed by two journalists working in Manipur and Chhattisgarh – Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha and Kanhaiya Lal Shukla.
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