one month later sedition law was suspendedA group of over 100 former bureaucrats on Sunday called for scrapping of IPC Section 124A Continuing to criminalize “unlawful activities” under the UAPA would give “substantial political gains” to the party in power both at the central government and at the national level.
The group, which claimed no political affiliation, suggested that the Supreme Court should examine Article 19 in the context of all existing laws and provisions under the “basic structure of the Constitution” principle that “freedom of speech and expression”. hook
On May 11, the Supreme Court had stayed the colonial-era penal law. Rebellion Unless an “appropriate” government forum re-examines this, and instructs the Center and states not to register any new FIR Call of Crime.
Apart from lodging of FIRs, ongoing investigations, pending trials and all proceedings under the sedition law across the country will also remain suspended, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana had ruled.
The statement said that over the years, “slowly and secretly”, the essence of the offense of sedition has been “trapped” in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which is more detailed and more stringent than Section 124A. The results are defined with .
The Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), in an open statement signed by 108 former civil servants, said, “Importantly, no political party is innocent in this regard and governments of all political parties are trampling on human rights and freedom of expression.” All India and Central Services who have worked with the Central and State Governments.
The signatories include former RAW chief AS Dulat, former cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar, former CIC Wajahat Habibullah, former home secretary GK Pillai, former Sikkim DGP Avinash Mohanane and former additional secretary Rana Banerjee.
The distaste and contempt for today’s government are the feelings through which democratic republics are born, the statement said. “Such feelings are considered criminal only in autocracy.
“Where the government of today can and can change through the electoral process, certainly it cannot be a criminal offense for any citizen to attempt to express feelings of dissatisfaction with the government, etc.”
The statement said the low rate of conviction in cases relating to Section 124A raises serious doubts about the genuineness of the claims made during the course of investigation and prosecution, and “shows that the real purpose of such laws is to protect the autocratic rulers from their rights. To provide a powerful weapon for repression. Control rivals and public opinion”.
It states that whether or not Section 124A is ultimately repealed or not, it will make little difference to the common citizen. “This is because, apart from section 124A of the IPC, there are many other provisions in the IPC and other Acts which bar this fundamental right of the citizens and leave them open to arbitrary arrest and prosecution by the government.” “The only way to protect the right of citizens to freedom of speech and expression is if the Supreme Court examines Article 19 under the principle of ‘basic structure of the Constitution’ with reference to all existing laws and provisions curtailing this freedom. does. Let’s put it on,” read the statement.
It said the arsenal of arbitrary weapons used to suppress dissent and protest and to control the free formation of public opinion has expanded over the years to include several offenses under Section 124A.
Prominent among these offenses are IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, caste, place of birth etc.), 153B (making allegations prejudicial to national unity), 505 (for public mischief) favorable) statements) and 505(2) (statements causing or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes), the statement said.
“These provisions are today widely and regularly misused by the police and their political masters for the purpose of section 124A,” it said.
“If Section 124A of IPC is held to be unconstitutional by the court, because speech and expression which merely cause dissent are protected (and not prohibited) … UAPA also to remove imported elements from Section 124A Modifications will need to be made,” the group said.
“The removal of Section 124A from the IPC while upholding the criminalization of ‘unlawful activities’ under the UAPA will provide substantial political gains to the party in power at the central government and at the national level,” the statement said.
It said that UAPA does not vest any powers with the state governments. “It provides that no court shall take cognizance of any offense of illegal activity except with the previous sanction of the Central Government.” “The removal of section 124A of the IPC would mean that the power to prosecute those promoting an adverse opinion against the government would rest entirely with the central government.
“This provides a major impetus to the central government to remove Section 124A under the pretext of protecting human rights, while actually strengthening its ability to suppress freedom in an even more drastic manner,” the statement said.