Explained:Sedition law

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News:Recently, a sessions court had rejected the anticipatory bail application of a student booked under Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code(IPC).

Facts:

About Sedition(Section 124A):

  • The concept of sedition was introduced in the penal code in 1870.It was a colonial law directed against strong criticism of the British administration.
  • Section 124A IPC defines sedition as an act that brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India by words, either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise.

Supreme Court Judgements on Sedition:

Kedar Nath Singh v State of Bihar,1962:

  • The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Section 124-A (sedition).
  • However,it said that every citizen has a right to say or write about the government by way of criticism or comment as long as it does not incite people to violence against the government established by law or with the intention of creating public disorder.

Balwant Singh v State of Punjab,1995:

  • The Supreme Court acquitted persons from charges of sedition for shouting slogans such as “Khalistan Zindabad”.
  • The court held that mere raising of slogans by two individuals alone cannot be said to be aimed at exciting or attempt to excite hatred or disaffection by the government.