unacadem 18th January 2019 Important Editorial Discussion(Why India's Sedition Law Needs to be Buried Presented By: Prabhakar Jha
More importantly, words alone are not enough for such a charge to be stricken. The inducement to violence is the most crucial ingredient of the offense of sedition. The offense of sedition is provided under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter IPC). The relevance of this section in an independent and democratic nation is the subject of continuous debate.
Before Independence, this charge was used by the British to suppress the freedom movement. Background As a result of the ardent opposition in the Constituent Assembly, the word sedition' does not find a place in our Constitution Presently, section 124 A IPC defines sedition as an act that brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise
The Relevance of Sedition Law . The freedom of speech often poses difficult questions, like the extent to which State can regulate individual conduct. reasonable restrictions can always be imposed on this right in order to ensure its responsible exercise According to Article 19(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (ICCPR . Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India guarantees freedom of speech and expression to all citizens. The courts have stressed the importance of contextualizing the restrictions while ascertaining the permissibility of expression. . Though it is argued that this law is a colonial vestige, the Indian courts have upheld its constitutionality. . The Kedar Nath judgment upholds the restrictions imposed by Section 124A (sedition) . The Supreme Court held that "comments, however strongly worded, expressing disapprobation of actions of the government" and which shun violence are not sedition . The impact on public tranquility is but one of the consequences of any seditious activity. The Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that the mere possibility of misuse of a provision does not per se invalidate the legislation
Why this Law Should be Scrapped? Overbroad' definitions typically cover both what is innocuou:s . In recent years that the core principle enunciated by the and what is harmful Supreme Court that the incitement to violence or tendency to create public disorder are the essential ingredients of the offense has been forgotten For Example, Beyond the high-profile urban cases, the reach of Section 124-A has extended even to faraway places.
GS And GA faculty @ Mahendra's Coaching Institute. Teaching Polity, and international relations for 7 years