The Supreme Court today raised the issue and asked the Center that if the case is adjourned until the reconsideration is complete, how would the government deal with people who are already reserved under Section 124- A (Sedition Act) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other cases that come.
The Supreme Court has asked the Center by tomorrow to submit its position on whether all sedition cases filed across the country can be kept in abeyance or on hold, until the government completes a review. article 124-A.
The three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, and also including Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, while hearing a batch of motions challenging the validity of the IPC Section 124-A.
Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, lead counsel representing the Centre, told the Supreme Court that the government is reviewing the case and the hearing may be postponed until the review is completed.
Lead Counsel and reputable legal expert, Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioners, objected to SG Mehta’s assertion that “This exercise of the Court cannot be stopped simply because the legislature will take time to reconsider for 6 months or 1 year”. . I strongly object to the Centre’s affidavit. It is up to the judiciary to review the constitutionality of the law.
The bench, after hearing the lawyer, raised the issue of the SG stating that “we can’t ask everyone to attend the courts and be in jail for months. When the government itself has raised concerns about misuse, how are you going to protect them. We have to balance the people who are imprisoned and the people who are going to be reserved. »
The seat of the Supreme Court has asked the SG to take instructions from the Government on the questions posed and to answer them tomorrow.
In a previous hearing, the Court had raised the question of whether or not the question of challenging the validity of Article 124-A of the IPC should be referred to a constitutional formation.
SG Mehta had asked the Apex court for more time to file his response after reviewing it with the relevant authorities.
The government, in its filed response, stated that it was fully aware of the various opinions expressed on the subject and that it had decided to review and reconsider the provisions of Article 124-A of the ICC and had asked the court not to invest time in examining the validity of the law and waiting for the exercise of the reconsideration.
The Center had yesterday filed its affidavit before the Supreme Court, and stated that it wanted to re-examine and reconsider the provisions of Article 124-A of the IPC.
The Center said to review and reconsider the sedition law, in the spirit of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We resolve to review and reconsider the provisions of Section 124-A of the IPC,” the Center said and urged it to “await the exercise…to be undertaken by the Government of India before a forum appropriate where such reconsideration is constitutionally permitted.
The Government of India filed the affidavit in response to the sedition case stating that there are differences of opinion expressed in the public domain by various jurists, scholars, intellectuals and citizens in general.
The Center argued that the Prime Minister of India was aware of the various views expressed on the matter and had also expressed his views in various forums.
The petitioners in the case had challenged the constitutional validity of the Sedition Act are: Editors Guild of India (EGI), Former Major General SG Vombatkere, Trinamool Congress (TMC) Member of Parliament – Mahua Moitra, Anil Chamadia, Journalist , Patricia Mukhim and many others.
Section 124-A of the ICC makes any speech that induces or induces hatred, contempt or disaffection towards the government established by law in India a criminal offense punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Former Union Information Technology (IT) Minister and veteran journalist, Arun Shourie also took the matter to the Supreme Court and filed a petition before it and said the Sedition Act violated Sections 14 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. from India.