Eastern Times, New Delhi : National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) has welcomed the remarks of the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana made on July 15, about the irrelevance of sedition law in the country.
In a statement issued by Professor P. Koya,General Secretary, NCHRO said, It is gratifying that the Chief Justice has also brought our attention to the rampant misuse of the law in various parts of the country.
Section 124(a) of the Indian Penal Code, has its roots in colonial India and it was used by the colonial power to jail and punish the leaders of the freedom movement. In the post-Independence period it is being used against people simply exercising their right to protest, or groups voicing any criticism of the government.
Simply said the law of sedition is used to target anyone that the government wants to silence without any basis.
It is not surprising that there has been a rise in the cases of sedition since 2014, when the Modi government came to power. Many in the state of Uttar Pradesh have also been charged under the law after the BJP came to power there, for criticism of the government or social media posts against Yogi Adithyanath.
It is also used by BJP governments to taint political opponents with the tag of “being anti-national”. It is interesting to note that the central government admitted in the parliament in 2016 that the definition of sedition is too wide and needs stricter interpretation.
It is high time that the Supreme Court made an intervention against the arbitrary use of this law. However, the Supreme Court has only made critical remarks on sedition and raised doubts about its usefulness. There hasn’t been any intervention so far.
NCHRO demands that the law of sedition be repealed for all these reasons. In a constitution meant to ensure the welfare of the people, a law like sedition has no place.