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Govt says it will 're-examine, re-consider' sedition law, SC must not

The Centre on Monday urged the Supreme Court not to invest time in examining the constitutional validity of the penal law on sedition saying it has decided to re-examine and re-consider the provision

Topics
sedition law | central government | Supreme Court

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

sedition, judiciary, laws, politics, justice, freedom
Illustration: Binay Sinha

The Centre Monday told the not to invest time in examining the validity of as it has decided to go for re-consideration of the provisions by a “competent forum”.

The Centre also said it was cognizant of various views, and concerns about civil liberties while being committed to protecting the “sovereignty and integrity of this great nation”.

The Congress alleged that the government is trying to “course correct” as it seems to have realised that its “misuse” of the legislation is about to be quashed by the SC.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, in an affidavit, referred to the views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on shedding “colonial baggage” and said he has been in favour of the protection of civil liberties and respect of human rights, and in that spirit, over 1500 outdated laws and over 25,000 compliance burdens have been scrapped.

It said the prime minister has said that India, as a nation, has to work even harder to shed colonial baggage that has passed its utility which includes outdated laws and practices.

A Bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli on May 5 had said it would hear arguments on May 10 on the legal question of whether the pleas challenging the colonial-era penal law on sedition be referred to a larger bench for reconsidering the 1962 verdict of a five-judge constitution bench in the Kedar Nath Singh case.

The affidavit, filed by Mritunjay Kumar Narayan, Additional Secretary of the MHA, said there are divergences of views expressed in the public domain by various jurists, academicians, intellectuals, and citizens in general.

“The Government, being fully cognizant of various views being expressed on the subject of sedition and also having considered the concerns of civil liberties and human rights, while committed to maintain and protect the sovereignty and integrity of this great nation, has decided to re-examine and re-consider the provisions of Section 124A of the IPC which can only be done before the competent forum,” it said.

The government urged the top court that in view of the decision to reconsider the law, “this court may not invest time in examining the validity of section 124A once again and be pleased to await the exercise of reconsideration to be undertaken by the Government of India before an appropriate forum where such reconsideration is constitutionally permitted.” The government said concerns have been raised about the application and abuse of for purposes not intended by the provisions.

“The prime minister has been cognizant of various views expressed on the subject and has also periodically, in various forums, expressed his clear and unequivocal views in favour of protection of civil liberties, respect of human rights, and giving meaning to the constitutionally cherished freedoms by the people of the country,” it said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, May 09 2022. 16:44 IST
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