Supreme Court dismisses plea on sedition

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a plea by a group of lawyers to re-examine the validity of Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde said the lawyers have not shown any specific cause of action that prompted them to file the writ petition in the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution.

“We don’t have a case before us of persons rotting in jail. You come before us in a concrete case. Dismissed,” Chief Justice Bobde addressed senior advocate Anoop George Chaudhari, appearing in the petition.

‘Petition filed in public interest’

Mr. Chaudhari argued that the petition was filed in public interest. He submitted that a colonial provision like Section 124A should not hold sway in a democracy and misused to silence dissent.

The petition said sedition was being used to threaten the personal liberty of government’s critics, including journalists, students and other citizens concerned.

It said the continued existence of the sedition law without corresponding safeguards or liability on law enforcement authorities was violative of the fundamental rights of ordinary citizens.

The petition referred to how the court had in the Balwant Singh judgment held that merely shouting ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ did not invoke the sedition law.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 2:34:13 am |