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Supreme Court to Hear Pleas Challenging Sedition Law

2 min read

Paridhi Arya

Published on April 27, 2022 at 13:34 IST

A Special Bench led by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana with Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli will take up matter of Scrapping the Sedation Provision, under Indian Penal Code the Punishment of Sedation is between 3 years Imprisonment to Life Imprisonment.

There were four Petitions which were consolidated. On July 15, 2021 seeks the answer from Union Government that why the Provision introduced by British Government to suppress the movement of our leaders like Mahatma Gandhi etc should don be struck down.

The Court concerned with “Misuse of law and lack of accountability of executive and the investigating agencies” as involved under section 124A (Sedition) of Indian Penal Code.

Attorney General KK Venugopal has submitted that only strict part of the provision could be struck down there is no need to struck down whole provision to meet its legal purpose.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta asked the time to file affidavit from the side of Union Government. He stated that it will be helpful for the Court to decide after Government will file Affidavit.

The Court observed that from 2016 to 2019 the Cases of Sedition is got up by 160% but the conviction rate is mere 3.3% as shown by National Crime Records.

Sedition provision came in 1870 by British Government which was not dropped from the Constitution in 1948 by the Constituent Assembly and added Article 19 (1)(a) which gave Freedom of Speech but section 124A was not disturbed.

Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951 inserted provision of reasonable restriction over Freedom of Speech under Article 19(2). In Kedar Nath case Court observed that Penalty under Section 124A was for those words which incite violence and disturbs law and order.

The Petition was filed by former army officer SG Vombatkere through the advocate PB Suresh seeking from the Court to struck down section 124A of Indian Penal Code being Unconstitutional and Quashing of Cases pending in the Provision across country.

The Court asked Attorney General to assist the Court in this matter and questioned the necessity of this provision which got introduced in Colonial Period and has low rate of conviction.

“If you see history of charging this Section, conviction rate is very low. The enormous power of misuse of this Section can be compared with a carpenter given a saw. Instead of cutting a tree, he cuts the entire forest,” the Bench observed.