Sedition is defined as the act of inciting rebellion or civil disorder against a government. In India, the concept of sedition is outlined in Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, which states that anyone who brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law 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.
The concept of sedition has a long history in India, dating back to colonial times when it was used as a tool to suppress anti-colonial sentiments and dissent. In the post-independence era, the law has been controversial and has been used to silence voices of dissent and criticism.
In recent years, there have been several instances where the sedition law has been used to silence and punish those who criticize the government or express dissenting views. In 2016, a group of students at Jawaharlal Nehru University were arrested on charges of sedition for participating in a campus event where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. In 2018, five activists were arrested on charges of sedition for their alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence.
There have been calls for the sedition law to be repealed, with many arguing that it goes against the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. Others argue that the law is necessary to maintain public order and prevent the incitement of violence.
It is important to note that the sedition law has been misused in the past to silence voices of dissent and criticism, and there have been instances where the law has been used to target minority communities and individuals. There is a need for caution in its application and for the law to be used only in cases where there is a clear and present danger of violence being incited.
In conclusion, the sedition law in India has a controversial history and has been misused in the past to silence voices of dissent and criticism. While there may be a need for such a law to maintain public order and prevent the incitement of violence, caution must be exercised in its application to ensure that it is not used to target minority communities and individuals or to silence legitimate forms of dissent and criticism.
Doctrinal Analysis of Sedition law in India
There is no particular law of treason in India because India was ruled by Britishers as a colony, the laws were copied from British Law but for the British people living in the country. Â Sedition and Treason Sedition and Treason are quite similar as they both act in opposing the government. Speaking at a seminar organized by a non-profit organization in Ahmedabad, former Chief Justice of India Deepak Gupta mentioned that sedition laws of the country should be toned down, if not abolished. Freedom of speech and expression is the soul of our constitution and Section 124A violates that. The problem arises when the Anti-sedition law is misused against the citizens and used as a tool to suppress free speech in order to make the public quietly abide by whatever the Government says.
Explained: What is sedition law in India? Is it time to repeal the controversial British
Criticism and debates are like the basic ingredient of a successful democracy. While treason is a more serious offence than sedition. The law of treason thus opposes the interests of the Britishers. There were many discussions during the debate. Also while spreading Naxalism, seeking freedom from India, or asking of the dismemberment of India, etc. The rumours were distributed to induce fear or anxiety in the general public or any portion of the general public, to induce anybody to commit an offence against the state or public calm.
Therefore, there must be restrictions on expressing unnecessary contempt or ridiculing the Government beyond certain limits. Anything which harms public peace is offences against public order. This is incompatible with the freedoms provided by Article 19 1 a. Speech can be used as a tool to for motivating people, a medium to promote patriotism and a key in developing the minds of the individuals. Namely an act, conduct or speech and provocation of rebellious attitude or anti-national feelings against the state. What about the recent cases? Bal Gangadhar Tilak 1897 Â This was the first case in which Section 124A was defined and applied. There is no specific need for Section 124A.
There are some important cases which helped in the reconstruction of Section 124A through the years: i The Queen-Empress v. As a consequence, sedition could only fall within the purview of constitutional validity if it could be read into any of the six grounds listed in Article 19 2 of the Constitution. Sedition law criticism In post-independence India, Section 124A came under criticism at numerous intervals, being singled out for its curbing of free speech. Meaning of war War can be defined as a state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country. The following case of Niharendu Dutt Majumdar v.
In fact, in Tara Singh, while striking down S. Without concrete gestures or words that can be traced back to the accused, a case for sedition cannot even exist against him. Simranjit Singh Mann 2005 The Punjab police on June 13, 2005, arrested Simranjit Singh Mann, the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar. India is the largest democracy in the world but it still suppresses the views of the youth and trying to control how and what the youth must think. State 1959 , where Section 124A was declared ultra vires of the Constitution. However, what does the law have to say about this? Therefore, we need to create effective provisions to cure sedition, in order to maintain the integrity and sovereignty of the country. Â Through the cases, the High Court understood that sedition can not be used to penalise criticisms against the government to improve or change the policies by lawful means.
Sedition in India: Section 124 A of IPC vs Freedom of Speech
Explanation: Such a disapprobation of the measures of the Government as is compatible with a disposition to render obedience to the lawful authority of the Government, and to support the lawful authority, of the Government, against unlawful attempts to subvert or resist that authority, is not disaffection. The courts themselves opined that Section 124A became void on the enforcement of the Constitution. The Court further held that a citizen has a right to speak or inscribe whatever he adores concerning the Government, or its actions. Bal Gangadhar Tilak 1897 This case is one of the most famous cases in the history of the law of sedition in our country. Â Democracy requires active and smart participation of the public.
Preventing wrongful enforcement and misuse alone can remove the majority of the criticism against the Sedition. Sedition can also be considered as a crime against society as it causes or spreads public disorder or violence in the state. It was Thomas Macaulay, who had established the law while preparing the penal codes. Bal Gangadhar Tilak , Tilak was accused of sedition for publishing an article in the newspaper about the Maratha warrior Shivaji encouraging his move against the British Government. They openly advocate the overthrowing of the government for their personal interests.
Gandhi was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison. Many freedom fighters were charged under this law, including Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi. The need is to maintain a balance between freedom of speech and sedition. The Supreme Court of India, in 2011, upon an appeal made by Sen, granted him bail. However, any bona fide criticism of government officials with a view to improve the functioning of the government will not be illegal under this section.
The first among them was the trial of Jogendra Chunder Bose in 1891, which we discussed above. Restriction on spreading disaffection or attempting to do so is violating freedom of speech while the restriction on exciting hatred or contempt against the Government established by law is valid. He states that he was always under the supervision of prisoner official and doing something like that was not possible rather it was his criticisms against Salwa Judum on their killings lead him to this situation. Following the decision in Niharendu Majumdar, S. The Allahabad Court passed a similar ruling in the case of Ram Nandan v. The offence is cognizable which means that police do not require a warrant for arrest and that it is non-bailable.