Supreme Court concerned over misuse of law on sedition, seeks Centre’s reply

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Supreme Court concerned over misuse of law on sedition, seeks Centre's reply

New Delhi, July 15

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over the misuse of “colonial-era” penal law on sedition and sought response of the Centre on pleas, including the one filed by the Editors Guild of India, challenging the validity of the provision.

A bench headed by Chief justice NV Ramana said the main concern was about the “misuse of law”, and asked as to why the Centre, which is repealing stale laws, was not getting rid of this provision.

The sedition law was meant to suppress the freedom movement and was used by the British to silence Mahatma Gandhi and others,

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the court noted.

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Some guidelines might be laid down to curb misuse of sedition law, Attorney General KK Venugopal said while defending the validity of the provision.

The bench was hearing a fresh plea by former army officer Major-General SG Vombatkere (retd) challenging the constitutional validity of Section 124-A (sedition) of the IPC on the grounds that it causes a “chilling effect” on speech and is an unreasonable restriction on free expression, a fundamental right. PTI

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