Historic Supreme Court decision on sedition law

sedition law

In the Supreme Court today, a bench headed by the present Chief Justice NV Ramana heard that four former Chief Justices J.S. Against the backdrop of the tenure of Khehar, Deepak Mishra, Ranjan Gogoi and SA Bobade, a historic verdict has been passed that a law of treason should be enacted. Will not be used until reconsidered. Should go The court also said that no FIR will be registered under Section 124A, be it Central or State Government. At the same time, those who are on trial for treason and are in jail on the same charges can apply for bail in the appropriate court, the court said. The case is set to be heard in the third week of July. Until then, the central government has been asked to reconsider the law. The court said that during this period, the central government can issue guidelines to the states and union territories.

A bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice Suryakant and Justice Hima Kohli said that the rights of citizens should be protected. The Chief Justice asked how many petitioners are in jail. On this, Kapil Sibal said that 13,000 people are in jail. Chief Justice Ramana said, “We have given a lot of thought to this matter. In this case, we are giving orders. The Chief Justice, while reading out the order, said that it would not be appropriate to use the law of treason till reconsideration. We hope and believe that the Center and the States will refrain from filing any FIR under Section 124A of the IPC.

In fact, in the Supreme Court, the Center has decided to reconsider the law, so the hearing should be adjourned. “We can postpone the hearing, but we are concerned about the persistent misuse of the law, and the Attorney General has stated this,” the bench said. On this, the Solicitor General said that lawsuits are being filed by the states, in which the Center has no role. After this, the bench said, “Why don’t you tell the states not to file a case in this case till the central government revises the law.”

“We have drafted the directive to be issued to the state governments,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Center, told the court during a hearing in the Supreme Court on Wednesday challenging the constitutional validity of the sedition law. According to him, the state governments will have clear instructions that no FIR will be registered under the treason clause without the approval of the District Police Captain i.e. SP or a higher level official. The Solicitor General also told the court that the police officer would also give sufficient reasons to support the registration of an FIR under the provisions of treason. He said alternative measures were possible until the law was reconsidered.

In terms of data, the Solicitor General said that while this is a bailable section, it is now difficult to analyze all pending cases or assess its seriousness. That wouldn’t be right.

Arguing on behalf of the petitioners, advocate Kapil Sibal had asked the court to stop the sedition law immediately. The petitioners allege that this law is being misused. The Attorney General had also said that treason clauses were imposed in the Hanuman Chalisa case. In such a case, it would not be appropriate to file an offense under this section unless it is reviewed.

In the case, the Center had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that the government had decided to reconsider the treason law. The Center has asked the court to reconsider the validity of Section 124A of the Sedition Act. Therefore, do not hold a hearing on this matter without checking its validity. However, the court did not accept the Centre’s plea and stayed the law.

During the hearing, the Chief Justice said that the Solicitor General should state how long it would take the Center to reconsider. “Right now I don’t have the answer,” the solicitor general said. You have to see your purpose. “We cannot be irrational based on our understanding and we will decide how much time to give,” the chief justice said.

Chief Justice Ramana said in the affidavit that the Prime Minister was aware of the issues of people’s freedom and human rights. Many cases are pending and we are concerned that the law is being abused. The Attorney General said that Hanuman Chalisa’s case was a case of treason. How to protect such cases? Solicitor General Mehta said the FIR was being investigated by the state government. The center has nothing to do with it. People have legal remedies no matter what law is being abused.

“We can’t tell people to go to court every time,” the chief justice said. If the government itself is saying that the law is being abused, then it is a matter of concern. How do you protect people? “There are many cases pending and what is your role in prosecuting the people for treason,” Justice Suryakant said. Why don’t you do this through your ministry to issue directions to the states to suspend 124A till the law is considered? “It would not have happened in the country if it had been banned by law,” Mehta said.

“We are not talking about all the crimes, we are just talking about section 124A of the IPC, which is treason,” said Chief Justice Ramana. Justice Hima Kohli said, “Our brothers want to tell the judge why you are not instructing the states not to take action under the Sedition Act unless it is reconsidered.”

Justice Suryakant said that the Supreme Court had relaxed the treason provision in the Kedarnath case, yet there was no difference on the ground level and the police were consistently reporting crimes. Otherwise you issue an instruction that no offense under 124A should be registered unless we (the Center) re-examine the law.

Kapil Sibal said that former Prime Minister Nehru had said that, as far as I am concerned, I agree that 124A (treason) is very offensive. Historically and practically, it does not deserve a place. It is better to get rid of it later. Mahatma Gandhi had explained the difference between state and government.

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of the retired Major General stating that the provision and interpretation given in Section 124A (Treason) of the IPC is not clear. Its provisions violate the fundamental rights of the Constitution. All citizens have basic rights. This includes freedom of thought and expression in section 19 (1) (a). At the same time, section 19 (2) contains appropriate restrictions. But the provision of treason is against the provisions of the constitution.

In fact, in 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that every citizen had the right to comment and criticize the workings of the government. Criticism has a definite scope and to criticize within that limit is not treason. However, the apex court had also clarified that there should be no attempt to disrupt public order or spread violence. Anyone who makes a statement or attempts to spread violence and disturb public order will be charged with treason.

The Center had also filed two affidavits in the Supreme Court, the first seeking protection of the Colonial Penal Code relating to treason and dismissal of petitions challenging it in the Supreme Court. Has decided to reconsider and reconsider. In its latest affidavit, the Center said that in line with the concept of Independence Ka Amrut Mahotsav (75 years of independence) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government of India has decided to review and revise the provisions of the clause. 124A (Sedition Act). The Center had also asked the apex court not to file a treason case till the government investigates the matter.

Vikas Meshram
[email protected]

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