The Government needs to stop clamping down on people with sedition charges

The Government needs to stop clamping down on people with sedition charges

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The Rendezvous Cult started this petition to Narendra Modi and

Section 124A of Indian Penal code reads as any action that brings or attempts to bring hatred or contempt towards the government of India. This law was brought by British Government during the freedom struggle to curb the free speech of people in fear of being overthrown. The United Kingdom themselves don’t recognise this sedition law in their country anymore but its been 150 years in India that it has been misused even more so after independence.

This draconian law curtails the very fundamentals of democracy i.e. right to freedom of expression, to express one’s dissent or to criticise the wrong doings of the government. It is now more than ever being used as a shield by the authorities to suppress the ‘anti nationals’ elements and whoever finds a different ground to stand other than that of the government’s, used especially on the youngsters and other numerous people. The number of the sedition cases was astounding in 2018 itself.In January, more than 3,000 protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were charged with sedition, whereas in 2019 more than 3,300 farmers were charged with sedition for protesting about land disputes.Clearly, the college student's ordeal is emerging as a poignant case of abuse of the sedition law.

This much infamous law is seen on a regular basis now, being used upon individuals who slate about the government and its politicians. Anybody who disapproves of government actions is charged with sedition.The punishment goes from 3 years to life imprisonment and is a non-bailable offence.A person charged under Sec 124 is barred from a government job, deprived of a passport and required to appear in court at all times as and when required.The Supreme Court has held that the need to invoke sedition must arise if an alleged act incites violence or can result in violence.The court ruled that comments however strongly worded expressing disapprobation of the actions of the government without causing public disorder by acts of violence would not be penal. These guidelines, though, appear to be often ignored.Such a high rise in sedition cases but not even handful of cases resulted in conviction.

“If one has no affection for a person or system, one should be free to give the fullest expression to his disaffection, so long as he does not contemplate, promote or incite to violence”, Gandhi ji in response to sedition charges against him.

 

 

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