New Delhi: Opposition parties welcomed the Supreme Court’s interim order on Wednesday putting on hold the colonial-era sedition law with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi saying telling the reality is patriotic and never a treasonous exercise. “Telling the truth is patriotism, not treason. Listening to the truth is one’s duty. Crushing the truth is arrogance. Do not be afraid,” he mentioned in a tweet in Hindi.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief Sitaram Yechury mentioned they’ve all the time opposed the sedition law. “It [sedition law] is anachronistic brought in by the British to crush our freedom struggle and it has no place in the statute book in independent India. It is good that the Supreme Court, hearing this case, has now ordered that this section must be kept in abeyance, stayed all pending proceedings, and directed the central and state governments not to register new cases.”
Yechury known as the federal government’s promise to review the sedition instances as specious because it has been “grossly misusing” Indian Penal Code’s Section 124A to harass dissent. “Since the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] government came to office in 2014, at least 326 people have been arrested under this law and only six of them were convicted. This is the gross abuse of the law that is happening under the Modi government. The sedition law should be scrapped. We hope the court does this when it resumes the hearing in July.”
Union law minister Kiren Rijiju mentioned they respect the court docket and its independence. He added a “lakshman rekha”, or the road not meant to be crossed, must be revered. “We have made our position very clear and also informed the court about the intention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There is a lakshman rekha that must be respected by all organs of the state in letter and spirit.”
On Monday, the federal government filed an affidavit to tell the court docket about its determination to “re-examine and reconsider” Section 124A. It underscored Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impetus on the safety of civil liberties and the necessity to shed “colonial baggage”.
BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya credited Modi for the Supreme Court’s determination. “In 1962, a five judge bench had upheld the Sedition Law. Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister. A three judge bench of the Supreme Court looking into the matter couldn’t have overruled it had GoI, on the instruction of PM Modi, not filed an affidavit seeking time to reassess,” he tweeted.
The Supreme Court put on hold the 152-year-old sedition law whereas emphasising the necessity to protect the civil liberty of the residents. This got here a day after the court docket set a 24-hour deadline for the Centre to determine if Section 124A may be put on hold “to protect people” from arrests till the federal government critiques the law.