Listen to this article:
New Delhi: In its order passed on Wednesday (May 11) putting the sedition law in abeyance, the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli made clear that it wanted the Central and state governments not to use this law at all while it is under ‘review’. The court also stayed all existing proceedings under the law.
This decision is in line with what the Union government too has said in its affidavit, the order says, since the affidavit claims that the Narendra Modi government thinks this colonial-era law is “not in line with the current social milieu”.
Both the petitioners and the attorney general of India have pointed out instances when this law has been misused, the court noted. In light of this agreement, “it will be appropriate not to continue the usage of the aforesaid provision of law by the Governments”, the order notes.
“We hope and expect that the State and Central Governments will restrain from registering any FIR, continuing any investigation or taking any coercive measures by invoking Section 124A of IPC while the aforesaid provision of law is under,” the order notes. If such cases are still filed, the bench has said that affected parties may approach the courts for relief, sighting this particular order.
All pending trials, appeals and proceedings in sedition cases have been put in abeyance, and the Union of India has also been given the liberty to “issue the Directive as proposed and placed before us, to the State Governments/Union Territories to prevent any misuse of Section 124A of IPC”.
Read the full text of the order below.