SEDITION AND INDIAN CONSTITUTION – A SNEAK PREVIEW

India is a democratic country and it sure does include hateful expressions as per the article 19 of Indian law with certain terms and conditions or say restrictions. Under it comes Sedition. Having said that many a times the concept itself is misunderstood, thus creating and image that sedition means political dissent. It is all underlined in the section 124 A wherein, whenever there is an act representing non affection towards the government in Power, it is considered as sedition.

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There have been quite a number of notable cases since the amendment of the act, starting from long back in 1892, there after in 1950 and recently in 2014. While in the first case that was registered between a man called Jogendra Bose & Queen Empress, the word ‘sedition’ was conveniently removed in order to interpret against Bose as ‘in the state security interest’ as per article 19(2). Though after India’s independence the picture changed and when a case came up between Romesh Tapar & Madras Government in regard to imposing a ban on the magazine circulation that could potentially create law and order issues within the public, the results showed changes. Announced in favor of Romesh Thapar, the judge stated that law cannot be used to ban ones freedom to speak unless it has a tendency to create any disorder or violence in the society.

There are a few changes that were made by the court of law in India in order to emphasize the fact that law is a servant to humankind and not an obstruction, and therefore has to be used in the interest of the public. This was when a case was registered under 124 (A) Bihar v/s Arnesh Kumar wherein the Supreme court created and issued certain guidelines that needed to be followed before making any kind of arrest. It stated that an arrest could not be made merely on the basis on a complaint under 124A.

Thus, in a nutshell whenever the section 124 (A) act of the Indian judicial law, subject to article 19(2) applies, one can be prosecuted only if it stirs people towards violence against the existing government in order to overthrow it or affects the security of the state in anyway. Any other speech otherwise, cannot be banned.

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Source : http://www.legalindia.com/understanding-law-sedition/