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Sedition row: CJI & PM on the same page sedition

The Ministry of Home Affairs informed the Supreme Court of its stand on the Sedition row.  MHA said “need to reexamine and reconsider the sedition law in the background of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s belief that the nation should work harder to shed colonial baggage including outdated laws while celebrating 75 years of Independence under the banner of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

 

The official affidavit which was filed by the Additional Secretary Mrityunjay Kumar Narayan remarked that the government is cognizant of the diverse views on the subject of sedition. The affidavit said “having considered the concerns of civil liberties and human rights while committed to maintain and protect the sovereignty and integrity of this great nation.’’

 

At the same time, MHA has urged the court to hold back till the government reconsiders the law before an appropriate forum. The centre has also advised examining the abuse of this law. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said that the government will suitably take into account the views of the stakeholders and ensure the integrity and sovereignty of the nation.

 

Some of the officials of the Law Ministry asserted that the government will consult civil society members who have conveyed their concerns on the sedition law. Mr Rijiju said that the Narender Modi government has removed around 1500 colonial laws.

 

The Centre’s stand on the sedition has attracted backlash from various political parties. TMC MP Mahua Moitra who is also one of the petitioners to quash the law said “ They (centre)have been in power for nearly eight years. If they wanted to do something, they (could have). It is that now they realise there is an actual possibility of this (sedition law) being examined by a larger bench, a seven-judge bench. so they do this to buy time.’’

 

Political parties are questioning the U-turn of the centre on sedition law because last week centre had defended the law and the 1962 verdict in the apex court. While supporting the verdict centre said “ it had withstood the test of time.’’

 

Sedition law was drafted in 1837 by British historian Thomas Macaulay as a non-bailable offence. Over the years, the law has been abused and many intellectuals, human rights activists, filmmakers, and university teachers have voiced their concern about the validity of the law.

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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