Ans– Sedition law is for creating this affection against the elected government or its machinery via either verbal words, writings, pictures, racing slogans, etc. It is under Section 124 A of the IPC (Indian Penal Code).
Originally taken from Britain it was created to curb anti-government activity both in Britain and in India. it was used against many political leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Gangadhar Tilak, etc.
Sedition law has always been seen as controversial since Independence and recently more in person due to anti-CAA protests, Farm bill protests, against scrapping of article 370 in Kashmir, etc.
Court decisions related to sedition–
- Kedarnath Singh v/s Bihar (1962) – Court upheld sedition law but only in case of the serious intention of creating havoc and anti-social activities.
- Balwant Singh v/s Punjab (1992) – Pro Khalistan slogans were raised during the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Supreme Court said more raising slogans by a few can’t be considered as addition is that slogans do not affect public order or encourage more people to do anti-government activities.
Demerits of sedition law–
- Draconian Law
- Promotes Dictatorship
- Suppresses Article 19
- Police brutality
It is pre-colonial law that was used against Freedom Fighters and is now used against students, opposition leaders, etc. even Britain from where it is taken has abolished this law a long back.
It suppresses the fundamental right of speech and expression (Article 19(1)(a) of the common man. It is used against whistle-blowers who tried to expose government scams. It is considered a cognizable offense and nonbailable arrest up to three years to a lifetime along with a fine. long-pending restriction makes it worse and causes innocent citizens to suffer in jail. police brutality due to personal can be seen in the news.
It weakens democracy since it is used against opposition party leaders and critics of government policies. It promotes dictatorship. the recent democracy index has put India into a partially free country.
Need of sedition law–
- Against anti-social activities
- Against contempt of court
- To enact law orders
- To stabilize government
It is needed against terrorists, separatists, and anti-social activities. For example, in Kashmir, North-eastern states. AFSPA(Armed Forces Special power act) is a simple power that curbs the separatist groups.
A stable government is very necessary to run the country inefficiently way but many anti-government groups or individual tries to destabilize the government by spreading fake news and organizing violent rallies. They are needed to be checked by this law.
Few people try to disrespect the Judiciary using articles, violent speech, and cartoons which come under contempt of court and are an offense because it reduces the owner of code before citizens.
Sedition law is used to maintain law and order by arresting those who are creating havoc against the system.
Implementation to be done–
- To make a bailable offense.
- To train police
- Reduce Jurisdiction on small issues.
It should be made a non-cognizable offense so that it cannot be used infinitely against someone for personal gain. Police should be given instruction not to use unnecessary e power against those who were arrested only on near doubt or suspect.
There is a need for Rapid procedure of sedition cases since even long-pending dissertations act as punishment against innocents.
It is perceptible that dissidence has been gone against by its overbroad nature and wide importance which has been utilized to suit the likes of the leader. The contention then isn’t illegal yet but rather against its execution. A nation like India that has some secessionist propensities (with real factors of the uprising, illegal intimidation, and so on) necessities to safeguard itself against those addresses which can on a very basic level defeat the public authority. It is not easily proven wrong that discourse can prompt the savage defeat of a foundation by which the State has a genuine interest to control such discourse.
It is true that the sedition law Act is a draconian law and has been misused many times by the incumbent government. but it is also true that it is helpful against separatists, terrorists, and anti-social groups. So, we need the sedition law to make more efficient by analyzing the conviction rate and amending certain sections to take real gain out of it.