What Is Sedition Law? What are punishments for offending the law? Should sedition law get scrapped permanently from IPC?In the next 6 minutes of reading, We are going to answer all of your questions regarding the Sedition laws
‘Section 124A’ of the Indian Penal Code also referred to as the Sedition Law.
British government made a law to suppress the National leaders and the Nationalist movement in India.
It was first drafted by Thomas Macaulay in 1837. But then it was omitted from the IPC.
Later in 1870, by amendment Sir James Stephen added it to the IPC.
This law was entirely introduced for the benefit of the Government to suppress the voice of the dissent during the British Raj.
However this law was abolished in Britain long ago. It was still there in the Indian Penal Code.
According to Indian Penal Code, Indian Penal Code specifies sedition as an offense committed when
“any person by words, either written or spoken, or by visible expression. Or by signs, or otherwise, brings or endeavors to bring into hatred or malice. Or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government founded by law and regulations in India”.
Punishment For Offending The Law
1.Sedition is a non-Bailable offense.
2.Punishment under violation of this law would be imprisonment of three years to life imprisonment with additional extra time added.
3.The person was not allowed to work as a government servant or a government job was not given to him/her.
4.The person must produce himself/herself in the court whenever called.
Mahatma Gandhi called section 124A, the most important evil among political sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Designed to suppress the liberty of the citizens and kill their freedom to express their views.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren once said that Laws are not made to frighten and silence the people.
But to encourage a feeling of safety in the public. He said this thing by targeting this law.
.Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak were once booked under this law(three sedition trials) which was the most popular case in the history of the application of this law on Indian nationalist leaders.
Should Sedition Law Get Scrapped Permanently From IPC?
There were many arguments in favor and in against this controversy.
The most important argument was being a colonial law it must get scrapped. As it can suppress ‘free speech practices’ to a large extent against the ruling government.
In a democratic country, Fundamental rights suppression was meant to demean the supremacy of Democracy.
Recently the Supreme court of India also raised questions regarding the validity of this Act. Supreme court said in a statement that why the government wants to retain such a colonial law.
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Chief Justice N.V Ramana sent a strong message to the government. Mentioning that the Supreme court is now giving attention to the cases regarding the misuse of Sedition law by government authorities, to trample and suppress the free speech and fundamental rights of common citizens.
1.It affects the democracy of a country. Yes, you heard it right. Putting someone in jail without proper reason and just because they have practiced ‘free speech’ to criticize some policy of the government is not a democratic action.
2.Criticism and raising questions on Government’s work and policies help to build a better free voice society.
Along with strengthening the laws and the work of the government through criticism.
3. An old-era Colonial law made by the British who also booked freedom fighters like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi must get scrapped. As it’s not suitable for a modern-day Nation.
It’s still a matter of debate whether this law should exist in the largest democracy in the world or get scrapped.
Arguments were always both in for and against the law.
As many think that Anti-national activities and hate speech might get tracked through this act which was correct in their respective arguments. But the major criticisms related to the law are mentioned above. So, those are also correct in their respective place.
Now it’s up to the Justice System and the Government whose decision might bring a change or might keep it the same.