Laws related to Sedition in India

Arundhati Roy, Binayak Sen, Aseem Trivedi, Hardik Patel and Kanhaiya Kumar we have all heard about this peoples, so what was common among these peoples,  so the common thing in between them was all of them were charged for sedition. So in the year 2020 India has completed 50 years of the law sedition. Slowly there was in the cases of sedition in India. So, who introduced the law of sedition in India? Sedition was introduced in India by UK, but in UK from 1972 to 2009, no charges of sedition were given agaiiany person. So ultimately in 2009 UK had completely abolished the sedition law.

Now let us understand the meaning of sedition.

 Sedition means when any person through any kind of words sign or action introduces any feeling of hatred what’s feeling of disaffection against the Government of India then that is known as addition.

Basically which means that inflicting any kind of hatred against the indian government.

Evolution of sedition law

So sedition law is linked with the Indian freedom movement.

Codification of criminal law was done after revolt of 1857.

Therefore in 1860 IPC was introduced by the first law comission recommendation headed by Thomas Babinton Lord Macaulay. So do we know that when the first IPCC law was amended there was no mention of sedition law, sedition law was introduced in 1873 chapter IV of IPC., which relates to offences against state .

Therefore this thing is clear the sedition law was introduced in India 1870.

The first trial was conducted under the sedition law in 1891 in the Bangabasi case, which is probably after 21 years from the introduction of sedition law.

Now let us discuss about some important case laws in sedition:-

1. Bal Gangadhar Tilak case (1897)

In this case Bal Gangadhar Tilak was charged against sedition, and he was arrested for 18 months and even in 1908 newspaper kesari two revolutionaries Prafulla Chaki and khudiram Bose what’s defended, due to which he was imprisoned.

The definition of sedition is interpreted by the court for various times. Whenever charges were applied against somebody of sedition then two essential ingredients is necessary the first one being public disorder the second one being violence.

When there was requirement for making a strong law against sedition the courts had narrowed down the definition and meaning of sedition. It was said that whenever an act threatens the security of a state it will be known as sedition.

But now after the increase of sedition cases in India the constitutional validity was challenged, which we can refer to in a case of 1962

2. Kedarnath v State of Bihar (1962)

In this case Kedarnath was charged enter the case of sedition due to a speech in which he had criticized the government, therefore the supreme court said that section 124 of IPC which says about sedition is constitutionally valid.

3. Balwant Singh versus State of Punjab (1995)

In this case supreme Court had released those people who had made posters of khalistan zindabad because due to this posters there was no reaction received from the public and even the public was not provoked due to this. Therefore these posters did not qualify for the charge of sedition.

4. Shreya Singhal vs Union of India 2015

In this case police had arrested two women who were given allegation that on Facebook they had posted offensive comments and this comments were related to Mumbai city’s shut down after the death of a political leader.

So in this case the court had discuss about three important concepts with respect to freedom of expression and these concepts talk about discussion advocacy and incitement. This was said that made advocacy or discussion is not sedition.

5. Kanhaiya Kumar case 2016

This case was about a former JNU student leader. Who was charged Under the sedition and conspiracy act, because Kanhaiya Kumar and 9 different people had raised seditious slogans in an event of JNU.

Section 124 is misused a lot, whenever any person disagrees to any political theory or disagrees with the government then he/she is booked under sedition and imprisonment.

So after the huge increase in use of internet the freedom of speech has also been exercised due to which the government power has also increased, and therefore this law has also been misused. So, are the sedition law is used or misued more is still not clear.

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