Indian Supreme Court asks Center to reconsider sedition law
- Supreme Court asked the Center to refrain from registering any FIR invoking sedition charges
- The order comes a day after the apex court asked the Centre if pending cases can be kept in abeyance
- The order allows those facing sedition charges to reach out to courts for bail
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India asked the Central government to hold back from registering any FIR invoking sedition charges until the process of re-examination of the provision is complete, according to ANI.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said 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; by then, the Centre would have the time to undertake the exercise to re-examine the provision.
"It will be appropriate not to use this provision of law till further re-examination is over. We hope and expect that centre and state will desist from registering any FIR under 124 A (sedition law) or initiate proceeding under the same till re-examination is over," said Chief Justice NV Ramana, according to NDTV.
"The Union of India is at liberty to pass directives to states to prevent misuse of the law," he added.
The Supreme Court's landmark order will allow those facing sedition charges to reach out to courts for bail. People charged with new cases can also approach the court for the same.
The order comes a day after the apex court asked the Centre if pending cases under the sedition law can be held under abeyance.
What is the sedition law?
IPC Section 124A describes sedition as a criminal offence of any speech or expression that “brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India."