New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Wednesday puts the Sedition Law on hold and directed the Centre and state governments to refrain from registering any new FIRs, or complaints invoking the Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) till the Centre completes the re-examination of the provisions of Section 124A which criminalises the offence of sedition.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said till the review of the sedition provision by the Centre is complete, the governments should not use the sedition provision. In an interim order, the bench said no new FIRs should be lodged under the sedition provision and those already in jail can approach courts for relief.

The top court said that all pending cases, appeals and proceedings with respect to charges framed for sedition should be kept in abeyance. "Reliefs granted to the accused by courts would continue", it said and fixed the third week of July for hearing pleas challenging the validity of the provision.

Earlier, during the hearing, the Centre suggested that a superintendent of police ranked officer could be made responsible for monitoring the registration of FIRs for the offence of sedition.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the bench, which also comprised Justices Surya kant and Hima Kohli, that the registration of FIRs for the offence of sedition cannot be prevented as the provision dealt with a cognisable offence and was upheld by a Constitution bench in 1962.

With regard to pending sedition cases, the Centre suggested that hearing on bail pleas in such matters may be expedited as the government did not know the gravity of the offence in each case and they may have terror or money laundering angles. "Ultimately, pending cases are before judicial forum and we need to trust courts," the law officer told the bench.

On Tuesday, the bench had asked the Centre to make its stand clear within 24 hours on keeping the pending sedition cases in abeyance to protect the interests of citizens already booked and not registering fresh cases till the government's re-examination of the colonial-era penal law is over.

 

(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan