New Delhi: A report said that the Law Commission of India has recommended against the total cancellation of the Sedition Law (Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code). The Commission in its recommendation supported the continuation of the law with certain amendments to it.
It is reported that the Commission said that the law was needed to safeguard the unity and integrity of the nation. The Commission said, “Section 124A of IPC has its utility in combating anti-national and secessionist elements and it seeks to protect the elected government from attempts to overthrow it through violent and illegal means. The continued existence of the government established by law is an essential condition for the security and stability of the State. In this context, it becomes imperative to retain Section 124A and ensure that all such subversive activities are nipped in their incipiency.”
The report said that last year, the Supreme Court of India had ordered that the 152-year old Sedition Law should be effectively kept in abeyance till the Union Government reconsiders the provision. The then Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana had said that the rigours of the law was not in tune with current social milieu and was intended during the time when India was under colonial regime.
However, the Commission has countered the view of Supreme Court saying that if this logic is adopted then the entire IPC should be repealed for its colonial legacy. It said that just because a particular legal provision is colonial in its origin does not validate the law’s repeal.
According to the report, the Commission also disagreed that the Sedition Law is in violation of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. The Commission opined that it is a reasonable restriction, said the report.
The Commission consists of Justice(Retd.) Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice(Retd.) KT Sankaran, Professor Dr. Anand Paliwal and Professor DP Verma.