Plea earlier than Supreme Courtroom to problem the constitutional validity of Part 124A of IPC
A plea has been filed before the Apex Court in order to challenge sedition law under IPC on grounds of it being ultra-vires to the Indian Constitution.
The plea has been filed by Advocates Varun Thakur, V. Elenchezhiyan and Aditya Ranjan, and they stated that Section 124A was enacted for the benefit of British crown, however, it should not be prevalent in a democratic country like India.
The petitioners also stated that sedition laws not only violate fundamental rights under Articles 19(1)(a) and 21, but are being discriminately used against journalists, women, students, and others whose behaviour is not in compliance to the Supreme Court’s interpretation.
The plea stated that Section 124A is one such obstruction which limits freedom of speech and expression, for those who have dissenting opinion against government or their policies, and also one’s right to dignified life.
The petition termed these laws as tyrannical in nature as there are no corresponding safeguards, unlike ones provided under UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).
It also stated that sedition laws uphold one-sided liability as it fails to uphold the liability case of law enforcement agency, under cases where they are at default.
The petitioners seek reformation in sedition laws including test of necessity, proportionality and arbitrariness.
The petition includes landmark judgments like the Common Cause case, Shreya Singhal and Balwant Singh, where the Apex Court upheld the supremacy of rights enshrined under Article 19(1)(a).
They stated that citizens have right to question the government and its representatives without resorting to violent measures, and thus sedition laws act no less than a threat to Part III of Constitution.
The petitioners concluded the petition by seeking few directions to the police and ancillary personnel. They sought for sensitive behavior of police towards individuals who are merely exercising their right under Article 19(1)(a) without any violence and penalizing only those which are conducted by violent means.