New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it will "re-examine and reconsider" the provisions of the sedition law, requesting it not to take up the case till the matter is being examined.
"The Government of India being fully cognizant of various views being expressed on the subject of sedition and also having considered the concerns of civil liberties and human rights, while committed to maintain and protect the sovereignty and integrity of this great nation, has decided to reexamine and reconsider the provisions of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code which can be done only before the competent forum," it said, as reported by Bar and Bench.
Centre's latest remark is U-turn as it had defended the sedition law last week in the Supreme Court. It had said that the 1962 verdict of the five-judge Constitution bench case which upheld the validity of the offence of sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, is binding and continues to be a "good law and needs no reconsideration".
"It is a settled position in law that a judgment which withstood the test of time and has been followed not mechanically but in the context of changing circumstances cannot be easily doubted," the Centre had said.
It said the 1962 verdict is a good precedent and that it requires no consideration and isolated instances of misuse cannot be a ground to uproot the precedent that has withstood the test of time for over six decades.
"The remedy would lie in preventing such abuse on a case-to-case basis rather than doubting a long-standing settled law declared by a Constitution bench since about six decades," it said.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on May 5 said that it will first decide the issue of whether the petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of Section 124A to be referred to the larger bench or not.
The bench had posted the matter for hearing on May 10 for arguments on referrals of the petitions to the larger bench and had also granted the last opportunity to the Centre to file its affidavit on the pleas.
(With ANI inputs)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma