The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed deep concern over the "colossal misuse" of the sedition penal law of the 'colonial era'. Describing the sedition law as a colonial period, the Supreme Court has questioned the central government as to why it is not being removed. Hearing the matter on Thursday, the Supreme Court said that it was a law made by the British to crush the freedom movement in the country.
A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana issued notice to the Centre. Agreeing to consider the petitions filed by the Editors Guild of India and a former Major General challenging the constitutionality of Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code, the bench said its main concern was "abuse of law".
The non-bailable provision makes any speech or expression that causes hatred or contempt or attempts to incite or to incite dissatisfaction towards the Government established by law in India. It is a criminal offense punishable with a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
The Supreme Court told the Attorney General that we want to ask some questions. This is the law of the colonial era and this law was used by the British to suppress the freedom movement. It was used by the British to silence Mahatma Gandhi, Gokhale, and others. Is it necessary to retain it in law even after 75 years of independence? The bench also included Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy.
The bench expressed surprise at the continuation of the sedition law in the law book for the last 75 years and said that we do not know why the government is not taking the decision. Your government is getting rid of old laws. The bench said that he is not blaming any state or government, but unfortunately, the implementing agency misuses these laws and there is no accountability towards it.