Published On : Wed, May 11th, 2022

Nagpur’s legal luminaries welcome SC’s order on keeping sedition law in abeyance

Nagpur: As the Supreme Court (SC) put in abeyance the sedition law, ordering stay on all the pending cases and proceedings with respect to charges framed under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code on Wednesday, lawyers from Second Capital of the State has welcomed the decision of the Apex Court.

“All pending cases, appeals and proceedings with respect to charges framed under Section 124A be kept in abeyance. Adjudication with respect to other sections may proceed with no prejudice to the accused,” the three-judge bench led by Chief Justice N V Ramana had said. The top court also said that those facing sedition charges can approach courts for bail and advised courts to dispose of them in a speedy manner.

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Speaking to Nagpur Today, the lawyer fraternity from the city expressed their views.

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Advocate Sameer Sonwane

Advocate Sameer Sonwane

Advocate Sameer Sonwane (Practicing at High Court and Sessions Court) said that, “Union Government is of the opinion that the colonial provision requires reconsideration and re-examination. The Civil Liberty of individuals is required to be balanced and this colonial law was used by the British. The Supreme Court by considering the landmark judgement of Kedar Nath Singh (1962) had earlier quashed sedition charges against senior journalist Vinod Dua for his critical remarks against the Prime Minister and the Union Government.”

Adv Shyam dewani

Adv Shyam dewani

Adv Shyam Dewani said, “It is a landmark judgement in which the Supreme Court has stayed the application of Sec 124(A) of IPC relating to sedition charges meaning thereby till the examination of constitutional validity of the said section, in all pending cases no charges will be framed and no trial will be conducted and no new sedition cases with the allegation of sedition are to be registered. Central and State governments are to re-examine the issue and make submissions before the Apex Court.”

Adv Rajendra Daga

Adv Rajendra Daga

Adv Rajendra Daga elaborated that, “Today’s order of the Supreme Court is a welcome order. Section 124-A IPC is a relic of colonial legacy & unsuited in a democracy. There are other laws available already to penalize “Disrupting the public order “, which are sufficient for protecting national integrity and therefore there is no need for section 124-A IPC,” he said.

Adv Manjeet Kaur Matani

Adv Manjeet Kaur Matani

Adv Manjeet Kaur Matani said that “Given the time, it is an important decision from the SC. We’ve seen an alarming rise in the use of this law in recent times. Taking cognizance, the Apex Court stepped in to preserve the citizen’s fundamental right.”

Adv parag Ukey

Adv parag Ukey

“Law is an ever evolving process. It is a continuous process. Some laws need to be scrutinized. It is important with time to review the said laws within the four walls of the constitution. The Union and state governments should take into account the decision of the Supreme Court while deciding the issue in question. In this way, in the modern world it is expected that the governments will take appropriate policy decisions in respect of said law which will be conducive to the democratic framework. Similarly the common mass should participate and take active part in the discussion which will strengthen the democratic principles and values,” said Adv Parag Ukey.

Adv kamal satuja

Adv kamal satuja

Discussing the significance of the order, Adv Kamal Satuja said that, “During the hearing of cases challenging the validity of section 124-A IPC, the Centre sought time to re-examine and reconsider this provision of the offence of sedition. While permitting the Centre to re-examine and reconsider the provision, Supreme Court has put the sedition law on hold and urged the Centre and States to refrain from registering any FIRs invoking Section 124A IPC till such reconsideration by the centre. The Supreme Court has added that in pending sedition cases, the parties are at liberty to approach the court for bail. As per the order, those; against whom case u/s 124-A IPC are registered after the order; can approach the court for bail and the trial court shall expeditiously dispose of the same,” he said.

Throwing light on the existence of this law, Adv Satuja further said, “This is a welcome order as the law of sedition is a British law which Englishman had enacted to oppress persons raising voices against British rule. It is evident from the growing nationwide trend of registration of crime under S. 124-A IPC now that the provision is being frequently misused by ruling political parties of states to oppress opponents’ voices simply for political reasons without there being any element of sedition in it. Booking of Rana couple for offence U/s 124-A IPC by Mumbai police is the recent example of such unscrupulous use of this obsolete provision of IPC by the state Government. In such circumstances, it is high time that this tendency needs to be curbed strictly. This order of the Supreme Court is bound to go a long way in preventing unnecessary, undesirable and unpleasant victimization of people who are innocent so far as the act of sedition is concerned.”

Advocate Amit Thakur (Practicing at High Court and Sessions Court) said that:

The Colonial Era Penal law was used by the British to “Silence” people like Mahatma Gandhi to suppress the freedom movement. India is a Democratic country that provides liberty to its citizen to express their view and therefore, the provision is against the Constitution of India. Reconsideration of the act is the need of the time. Misuse of such provisions needs to stop.

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