The government will “suitably” take into account views of the stakeholders and ensure that the sovereignty and integrity of the nation is preserved while re-examining and reconsidering the law on sedition, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday.
Senior officials in the Law Ministry claimed that the government will consult with civil society which has expressed concern over the sedition law.
However, Mr. Rijiju emphasised that the Centre’s affidavit follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clear instructions to repeal obsolete and colonial laws and close to 1,500 laws have been removed since 2014.
“...the government will reconsider and change the provisions as per the need of the present time. Because there are lots of views coming up,” he said on the sedition law.
He added that the Prime Minister expressed his view clearly in favour of protection of civil liberties, respect for human rights and giving meaning to constitutional freedoms.
“..the government has urged the Hon’ble Court to not to invest their precious time in examining the validity of Section 124-A of Indian Penal Code, 1860, added the Law Minister. However, the Congress claimed that the Modi government is trying to “course correct” as it realised that the legislation was about to be quashed by the Supreme Court.
“The Modi government has over the last eight years used the sedition law only to suppress fundamental rights of expression, of opinion, curbing dissent against the BJP, suppressing voices against the RSS, subjugating opinion against the Modi government – be it of activists, political opponents, journalists, or anyone asking questions,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged.