Monday, September 26, 2022

No proposal to scrap sedition law, says Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju in Parliament

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Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday told Parliament that there is no proposal to scrap Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code which deals with sedition. The section has been in the eye of the storm for its continued invocation against activists.

Rijiju was responding to a question from Assam MP Badruddin Ajmal. The MP asked if the Supreme Court has called the law colonial and noted its misuse, and asked for the details if the government is planning to either scrap the sedition law or is going to amend it.

To which, Rijiju replied that the Ministry of Home Affairs has informed that there is no proposal under consideration to scrap Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Adding further to this, he said that the law is pending adjudication before the Apex Court.

What is Section 124A of the IPC?

Section 124A deals with offences that are against the State. According to this, whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.

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Meanwhile, the Supreme Court in a writ petition observed that the ambit and parameters of the provisions of Sections 124A, 153A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 would require interpretation, particularly in the context of the right of the electronic and print media to communicate news, information and the rights, even those that may be critical of the prevailing regime in any part of the nation.

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