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Today Date : Thursday, May 26, 2022

Can the Sedition law be scrapped ?

Can the Sedition law be scrapped ?

The Sedition law under the Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which was introduced by the British is in vogue under the Indian Constitution Section 124 for the last 152 years.

The law was more used against journalists by the British. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was arrested under the act thrice and he was in prison for 18 months. In 1992 the law was also used against Young India the news paper published by Mahatma Gandhi. V.O Chidambaram popularly called as  'Kappalottiya Thamizhan' was also arrested for sedition.

Under the BJP Government also those opposed to their ideology were arrested. In the year 2019 cases were booked against 10,000 tribals in Jarkhand who protested against the BJP led state government.

From the year 2014 onwards in two years 179 people were implicated for sedition under the Sedition law. First Information Report was not filed in 70 percent of the cases, it is said. Nine thousand persons who protested against Koodankulam Atomic Power Project were booked under this act.

Betrayal of the country, plotting against the country, exchanging information with foreign countries can be considered as sedition. But how can expression of a political stand be deemed as sedition? Several cases were filed in the Supreme Court to repeal the Sedition Act. The Supreme Court has asked the Union Government whether the Sedition Act was needed 75 years after the country's independence. The Apex Court has also gave an interim order to the Central Government not to book any case under Section 124 A of the IPCMr. Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister for Law and Justice said, the Government respected the Supreme Court's directions but added that the 'Lakshman-Rekha' line should be observed by all. It was taken as thought he meant indirectly that the Supreme Court should not stretch its mandate. The fact that the Union Government is unhappy with the Supreme Court's directive is reflected in the Law Minister's statement. Political observers read from the Minister's 'Lakshman-Rekha' remark that the Supreme Court was being provoked.

"Can the parliament and state assembly's enact laws that are against fundamental rights?," ask political observers. It is true that Democratic forces in the country will welcome the Supreme Court's interim stay on the sedition act. Within the time given to the Union Government by the supreme court it should re-examine the sedition law and come up with a positive decision. The people and the Supreme Court look forward with hope.