History of sedition law is very interesting
The story of Indian sedition law is very interesting. This law came in 1860 but no section was fixed for it. It was introduced in 1870 and was said to have been omitted by mistake in the draft of the original IPC. Sedition was considered a cognizable offense under section 124A and under this the police got the right to arrest without warrant.
what is sedition law
Under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, if any person writes or speaks anti-government material or supports such material, including insulting national symbols If he tries to degrade the Constitution, then a case of sedition can be registered against him under Section 124A of the IPC. Apart from this, if a person unknowingly has a relationship against an anti-national organization or cooperates in any way, then he also comes under the purview of sedition."text-align: justify;"In the clarification of the provisions added in section 124A, it was said that rebellion against the government will be treated as rebellion and a feeling of enmity. However, if the remark is made without any attempt to incite hatred and malice, then it will not be considered as an offense.
Using this law on Gandhi and Tilak in British Raj
In British Raj this law was used on a large scale to demand independence and suppress the voice of nationalists. This law was used against Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and even Jawaharlal Nehru. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the first person to be punished under this law. Tilak was punished because he was accused of writing an article in his magazine Kesari with the aim of thwarting the government’s effort during the plague epidemic. In 1897, the Bombay High Court sentenced Tilak to 18 months imprisonment under section 124A. Tilak was sentenced by nine jury members, out of which six members of the jury were Englishmen. Three Indian members of the jury ruled in favor of Tilak.
use of sedition law after independence
Sedition law was not brought in the constitution after independence. Sedition was added to the draft of the Constituent Assembly to limit freedom of expression. In 1948, in the Constituent Assembly, KM Munshi had proposed to remove the word sedition from this law. When the Constitution came into force on 26 November 1949, the freedom of speech and expression was considered a universal right in Article 19(1) of this Constitution. However, Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code continued unabated.
In 1951, Jawaharlal Nehru brought the First Amendment to limit the freedom enjoyed under Article 19(1) and under 19(2) the State was empowered to impose reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech. Indira Gandhi’s government made section 124A a cognizable offense for the first time.
Kedar Nath Singh v State of Bihar
The constitutionality of the sedition law in the country was challenged in 1962 and while hearing the case, the court also observed the difference between the country and the government of the country. clarified. In Bihar, Kedar Nath Singh, a member of the Forward Communist Party, was accused of giving speeches denouncing the then ruling government and calling for revolution. In this case, the court had clearly said that criticizing the government under no circumstances will be counted under sedition.
Asim Trivedi Vs State of Maharashtra
Controversial political cartoonist and activist Aseem Trivedi was arrested in 2010 on charges of sedition. Many of his colleagues believed that Asim Trivedi was accused of sedition because of his anti-corruption campaign.
Sedition law has been imposed on many including Vinod Dua
Climate activist Disha Ravi, from Dr. Kafeel Khan to Shafoora Zargar, there are many people who have been arrested in the case of sedition. . Recently, the sedition case filed against senior journalist Vinod Dua was dismissed by the Supreme Court. Then he also said that citizens have the right to criticize the steps or measures taken by the authorities.
Supreme Court asked, why law is necessary even after 75 years of independence
Speaking on the validity of Indian Penal Code 124A, Chief Justice N.V. A bench headed by Raman said that this is a colonial law used by the British to silence Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak. Still, is it necessary even after 75 years of independence? The Chief Justice said, ‘It is like if you give a saw to the carpenter, he will cut down the whole forest. This is the effect of this law.’ He told that even in a village police officers can enforce sedition law and all these issues should be investigated. The Chief Justice said, ‘My concern is about the misuse of the law. There is no accountability of the implementing agencies. I will look into this. The government has already brought out many stale laws, I don’t know why they are not looking at this law.’Sedition law started trending on social media after the court’s comment.