Editorial

Resolve abuse of sedition law by BJP Governments on priority

Nation is waiting as her apex ‘Supreme Court’ would hear arguments on May 10 on the legal question whether the pleas challenging the colonial era penal law on sedition be referred to a larger bench, and granted time to the Centre to file its response. As the Centre is abusing the very sedition laws, no time is needed to be granted to the Centre to file response.

Nation was looking at a special bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli that commenced hearing arguments on a batch of pleas against the sedition law and after some time due to non preparedness of Centre to argue case, adjourned it to next Tuesday.

At the outset, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, sought few more days’ time for filing the reply, saying the draft response made by lawyers awaits approval by the competent authority as the issue is of extreme importance, while hidden competent authority being RSS.

The Center in order to prolong till September states that some fresh matters have been served recently and the contents of those pleas also needed a response, while dozens of innocent journalists working for the betterment of the nation were framed by the Centre on false Sedition charges behind the bars for years without a hearing and consideration of their bail.

Thanks to the SC for giving a natural relief to under trails to list this matter on next Tuesday at 2 pm. The solicitor general to file counter (affidavit) by Monday. No further adjournments will be granted is in the larger interest of the State.

The bench, on April 27, had directed the central government to file a reply saying it would commence the final hearing in the matter on May 5 and would not entertain any request for adjournment.

Concerned over the enormous misuse of the penal law on sedition, the top court in July last year had asked the Centre why it was not repealing the provision used by the British to silence people like Mahatma Gandhi to suppress the freedom movement.

Agreeing to examine the pleas filed by the Editors Guild of India and former Major-General S G Vombatkere, challenging the constitutionality of Section 124A (sedition) in the IPC, the apex court had said its main concern was the “misuse of law” leading to rise in number of cases.

Mother India is protected by her apex arms to see that sedition laws are not deliberately abused.