India, being a democratic country, reserves the duty of maintaining peace between government and citizens through various methods. Though rights have been conferred on citizens, restrictions also play a crucial role. The events that took place in the past could not be unforeseen and that called for the enactment of sedition laws. so that a framework can be made for penalties and punishments in certain situations. However, have the laws been re-framed according to the needs of society or the vagueness is creating criticisms?’
Sedition law was inserted in the year 1870 by Sir James Stephen. At that time, there was a need to have a specific provision for dealing with offences. However, it turned out to be one of the draconian laws with time. Sedition stands as a non-bail-able offence. The punishment is up to 3 years of imprisonment. However, comparing this to the current situation, imprisonment of a person without specifying the reason is not legal. It is against fundamental rights.
Section 124Aof the Indian Penal Code was introduced to maintain the balance and help the government in keeping harmony in the country by attempting to realize any action made by any person that goes against the policy of the government or tries to invoke people to create conflict against the government. The said provision was enforced decades ago. However, the paradigm of the nation shifted towards democracy and that called for the amendments too. There are other laws in place that cover the whole ambit of section 124A. Also, the vagueness of the section makes its application arbitrary which in return defies the whole purpose of the section and violates Part 3 of the constitution particularly article 19. There are multiple scenarios in the recent past where it has been seen by the Supreme Court that the power granted by this section has been proved to be arbitrary and vague. Also, has caused hindrance in the application of fundamental rights. This has led to putting curtains on the democratic features of the country.
Recently, there have been many cases where the sedition law has been challenged. It is due to changing needs of the society. In some cases it has been held that application of sedition law is limited to an extent. They create disorder or disturbance when they are applied to an unlimited extent. India now stands as a democratic country and the need for sedition law has been diminishing. Sedition laws must be modified in order to get their implementation in a better way. The laws nowadays are turning out to be more outdated in relation to the policies of the government. The major aspect for law is to be in coordination with the government. Constitutional rights violation is illegal and the same is being done via Sedition laws.
The examples of this stand as arrest of a person without informing about the cause, ill treatment, delay in proceedings etc. article 21 states the right to life and livelihood. The laws need to be in confinement with the rights so that the laws don’t get void. At present, the sedition laws need either removal or amendment. Amendment can be considered as a preferable option as it will also let the imposition of required guidelines along with constitutional rights. As sedition law a present is striking the economist position of India too. CAA, 2019 has also been disregarded in some of the instances. Therefore, all the above mentioned scenarios call for amendment in the present sedition laws in order to keep them legal. It is necessary to follow the fundamental rights that are stated in the Constitution of India.
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