Sedition Law

Sedition Law

Why in news:

  • With a view to preventing any “alleged misuse” of the provision, the Law Commission of India has proposed retaining the law of sedition with key amendments.

About Sedition:

  • There was no mention of Section 124A of the IPC which dealt with the sedition law in the IPC.

  • Sedition was first introduced in 1870 as an offence under Chapter IV of the Indian Penal Code which is related to the offences against the state.
  • The first trial of sedition was conducted in the case of  the Queen v. Jogendra Chandra Bose (1891) of the Bangabasi case.

Section 124A IPC:

  • In normal terms, sedition is an offence when any person through its words, signs, or actions, attempts or brings any feeling of hatred or feeling of disaffection in the general public against the government.
  • When anyone incites or attempts to incite hatred or contempt in other people against the government which is established under law, it is said to be an offence committed under sedition.
  • When anyone commits sedition, then the person can be punished with imprisonment of 3 years or a fine or both, or the imprisonment can be extended for imprisonment for life with a fine or without a fine.

The following are the essentials for the offence of sedition:-

  1. First and foremost, the words should be spoken verbally or should be in written form, or actions, or it can be through signs.
  2. It should incite hatred or contempt or feeling of disaffection or feeling of enmity in the general public against the government.
  3. Persons who cause violence or who incite others to cause violence constitute the important elements of seditious activity. It is possible to commit sedition if you attempt to persuade people to disrespect or oppose the government in any way via activities of public disorder or violent protests.

Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar (1962):

  • In this case, It was determined that the law was constitutional and that it applied to any written or spoken words that had the affirmative intention of circumventing the government through violent means, regardless of their source.
  • Citizens who condemn the government with the aim of creating public disorder are permitted to do so, so long as they do not incite people to engage in violence against the government.
  • While the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Section 124A, it limited its application to acts involving the intent or inclination to create public disorder, disruption of law and order, or provocation of violence among other things.

Syllabus: Prelims