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SC seeks response from Centre on plea challenging sedition law

The Supreme Court docket Friday sought response from the Centre on a plea difficult the Constitutional validity of sedition legislation.

A bench Justice U U Lalit, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Okay M Joseph have been listening to a plea difficult part 124-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which penalises the crime of sedition.

The plea, filed by two journalists – Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha and Kanhaiya Lal Shukla – working in Manipur and Chhattisgarh respectively, have urged the courtroom to declare Part 124-A as unconstitutional.

The petition claimed that part 124-A infringes the elemental proper of freedom of speech and expression, assured underneath Article 19(1)(a) of the Structure.

The petitioners claimed that they’ve been elevating questions towards their respective state governments and central authorities, and have been charged with sedition underneath part 124A of IPC in varied FIRs for feedback and cartoons shared by them on the social networking web site Fb.

There may be frequent phenomenon of misuse, misapplication and abuse of Part 124-A since 1962, the petition mentioned, including that the abuse of a legislation, in itself, could not bear on the validity of the legislation however clearly factors to the vagueness and uncertainty of the present legislation.

The sections of sedition have been repealed in comparative post-colonial democratic jurisdictions world wide. Whereas India calls itself a ‘democracy’, all through the democratic world the offence of sedition has been condemned as undemocratic, undesirable and pointless, it mentioned.

The petition additionally argued that the vagueness of Part 124-A exerts an unacceptable chilling impact on the democratic freedoms of people who can not take pleasure in there authentic democratic rights and freedoms for concern of life imprisonment.

Whereas citing the Supreme Court docket’s resolution to uphold the validity of the legislation in 1962 within the case of Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar, the petitioner mentioned that the courtroom could have been right in its discovering almost sixty many years in the past, however the legislation not passes constitutional muster at the moment.

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