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Question-2: “Sedition law is a colonial relic and given its chilling effect on freedom of speech, the law must be repealed.” Discuss.

Answer: Sedition is defined under section 124A of IPC as an offence committed when any person by words or his actions attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India.

The law was introduced by the British government in 1870, in order to muzzle the spirit of the Indian freedom movement.

Need for repealing

  • Misuse against dissenters
    The law has been used against students, cartoonists, journalists, activists etc for challenging established order. This is a clear violation of Article 19.
    Ex: JNU row
  • Political vendetta
    The law is seen as a tool to score political score by government of the day. Since the law is stringent, the punishment is stringent if convicted.
    Ex: Arrest of Rana couple in Hanuman Chalisa row.

Validity of the sedition law

  • Constitutional validity
    The Supreme court has upheld the validity of the sedition law and refused to strike it down in multiple cases.
    Ex: Kedar Nath Singh case.
  • Integrity of nation
    There needs to be a stringent law that prevents forces from challenging unity and integrity of the nation.

Way ahead
There is a clear dilemma for the Government between maintaining law & order & freedom of speech & expression.

Thus, the courts can narrow down the definition of sedition to include only the issues pertaining to the territorial integrity of India as well as the sovereignty of the country.

Tags: GS 2 ( Polity and Governance)

By- Prashant Tiwari

Updated on 07 May 2022 |   Added on .07 May 2022  |  by admin