SC concerned over misuse of law on sedition, seeks Centre's reply

The sedition law was meant to suppress the freedom movement and was used by the Britishers to silence Mahatma Gandhi and others, the court noted.
SC concerned over misuse of law on sedition, seeks Centre's reply
Supreme Court of IndiaMohitSingh/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over the misuse of "colonial-era" penal law on sedition and sought response of the Centre on pleas including the one filed by the Editors Guild of India challenging the validity of the provision.

A bench headed by Chief justice N V Ramana said the main concern was about the "misuse of law", and asked as to why the Centre, which is repealing stale laws, was not getting rid of this provision.

The sedition law was meant to suppress the freedom movement and was used by the Britishers to silence Mahatma Gandhi and others, the court noted.

Some guidelines may be laid down to curb misuse of sedition law, Attorney General K K Venugopal said while defending the validity of the provision.

The bench was hearing a fresh plea by former army officer Major-General S G Vombatkere (Retd) challenging the Constitutional validity of section 124 A (sedition) of the IPC on grounds that it causes a "chilling effect" on speech and is an unreasonable restriction on free expression, a fundamental right.

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