Sedition law 'colonial', was used by British against Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak: Supreme Court
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the constitutional validity of the contentious Sedition Law and said that it is a "colonial law" that was used by the Britishers against freedom fighters. Hearing a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the Sedition Law, the apex court asked the central government whether it is "still required to exist after 75 years of independence".
A bench headed by Chief justice NV Ramana cited the example of Section 66A of the I-T Act and said that the main concern of the Sedition Law was about the "misuse of law".
"Dispute is that it is a colonial law and was used by British to suppress freedoms and used against Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Is this law still needed after 75 years of independence," the top court was quoted as saying by Bar and Bench.
"Our concern is misuse of the law and no accountability of the executive. I will look into other cases referred to...we will examine all pending cases and may be post all the cases in one place," the court added.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, who was appearing for the Centre, replied that he completely understands the concern of the top court. He also submitted that the top court could lay down fresh guidelines to restrict the use of the sedition provision only for protection of nation and democratic institutions.
"This Section need not be struck down and only guidelines can be set out so that it meets its legal purpose," he said, as reported by Bar and Bench.
The Supreme Court was hearing a fresh plea by former army officer Major-General S G Vombatkere (Retd) challenging the Constitutional validity of section 124 A (sedition) of the IPC on grounds that it causes a "chilling effect" on speech and is an unreasonable restriction on free expression, a fundamental right.
WATCH: Sedition law 'colonial', was used by British against Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, says Supreme Court
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma