- Section 124(A) of IPC criminalizes the ‘disaffection’ towards the government by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations
- This 1860 draconian colonial law was created to stifle dissent during colonial rule.
- Tilak, Gandhi, Maulana Azad and Annie Besant were convicted under this law
- Today, the law is used to suppress legitimate criticisms of the government
- Journalists, Human rights activists, political dissenters, public intellectuals, and even farmers and tribals are targetted by this law
- The law goes against the inalienable fundamental right to expression enshrined in our Constitution
- The law goes against the very nature of democratic process which relies on active consent and dissent/opposition
- The law goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression
- All major world democracies have either repealed this law or discontinued prosecutions
- The existence of sedition laws in India’s statute books and the resulting criminalization of ‘disaffection’ towards the state is unacceptable in a democratic society.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh
Home Minister sushil kumar shinde