New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking framing of a proper mechanism to deal with alleged misuse of the sedition law by the government machinery.
A bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar dismissed the plea filed by a social activist and said it was open for the petitioner to approach the appropriate authority.
At the outset, the apex court told advocate Utsav Singh Bains, appearing for the petitioner, that he could not seek quashing of an FIR in a sedition case filed against the management of a Karnataka school for allegedly allowing students to stage an anti-CAA and anti-NRC drama.
Bains told the bench that he was not just pressing for a prayer to quash the FIR but the petitioner has also sought a direction for framing of a proper mechanism to deal with the alleged misuse of the sedition law.
“Let the affected party come and we will hear them. Why it should be done at your instance,” the bench said, refusing to entertain the petition.
The petition had sought the quashing of the FIR against the principal and other staff of the Shaheen School at Bidar who have been booked under sections 124A (sedition) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the Indian Penal Code.
The plea had also sought an apex court direction for a proper mechanism to deal with alleged government misuse of the sedition law.
Section 124A of the IPC says that “whoever brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards… the Government shall be punished with imprisonment for life…”.
The plea had sought a direction to the Centre and the Karnataka government “to quash the FIR registered in connection of seditious charges against the school management, teacher and a widowed parent of a student for staging a play criticising CAA, NRC, and NPR.”
The petition had claimed that the police “also questioned students, and videos and screenshots of CCTV footage showing them speaking to the students were shared widely on social media, prompting criticism.”
The drama was staged on January 21 by students of the fourth, the fifth and the sixth standard.
The sedition case was filed based on a complaint by social worker Neelesh Rakshyal on January 26.
The complainant alleged that the school authorities “used” the students to perform a drama where they “abused” Modi in the context of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens.