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No proposal to scrap law on sedition, Law Minister informs Lok Sabha

He was asked by Assam MP Badruddin Ajmal whether the Supreme Court has recently termed the sedition law as colonial and has made an observation that it is being misused.

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New Delhi: Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiu on Friday informed the Lok Sabha that there is no proposal to scrap Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, the law dealing with sedition. He also said the matter is subjudice. 

He was asked by Assam MP Badruddin Ajmal whether the Supreme Court has recently termed the sedition law as colonial and has made an observation that it is being misused.

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The Minister said in his reply that the Ministry of Home Affairs has informed that there is no proposal under consideration to scrap Sec. 124A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. 

He added that the question of law regarding Section 124A is pending for adjudication before the Supreme Court of India.

“No such observations have been found in any judgment/order delivered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. However, in Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 217/2021, M/s Aamoda Broadcasting Company Pvt. Ltd & Another vs The State of Andhra Pradesh & Others, the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 31.05.2021, under para (3), has inter alia observed that “the ambit and parameters of the provisions of Sections 124A, 153A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 would require interpretation, particularly in the context of the right of the electronic and print media to communicate news, information and the rights, even those that may be critical of the prevailing regime in any part of the nation,” the Minister said in his reply.

He said the Supreme Court in an order dated 30.04.2021 issued notice to the Union of India, where the petitioners had made a prayer before the Supreme Court for an appropriate writ, order or direction declaring Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 to be unconstitutional and void. 

After the hearing, the Supreme Court through an order dated 12.07.2021 granted time for filing written submissions and counter affidavits in the matter on behalf of the Union of India.

He further added in a Writ Petition (Civil), S.S.Vombatkere vs Union of India, the Supreme Court in the Union of India, tagged it with other matters wherein similar question of law has been raised and are pending for consideration before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

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