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On Sedition Law, Government’s big climbdown in Supreme Court

New Delhi: Two days after defending the country’s colonial-era sedition law and asking the Supreme Court to dismiss the pleas challenging it, the government on Monday did an about-face, saying it has decided to re-examine and reconsider provisions of the law.

In a new affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the centre saying, “In the spirit of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (75 years of Independence) and the vision of PM Narendra Modi, Government of India has decided to re-examine and reconsider the provisions of Section 124A, Sedition law.”

The government urged the Supreme Court to wait for the review before deciding on the case based on petitions filed by the Editors’ Guild of India and others.

Concerned by the widespread misuse of the sedition law, targeting critics of the governments at the centre and in states, the top court in July last year had asked the union government why it was not repealing the provision used by the British to silence people like Mahatma Gandhi.