The Supreme Court ordered the Center to reconsider the Section 124A (sedition law) provision of the Indian Penal Code on Wednesday. In 162 years, the court suspended an operation of sedition for the first time. Indeed, it is Supreme Court’s historic order.
According to the court order, until the re-examination exercise for sedition law gets completed, no authority will register a case under section 124A. In addition to this, no government body can initiate an investigation under this provision. Moreover, the court ordered relief grants to the accused shall continue.
The Supreme Court fixed the third week of July for hearing pleas challenging the validity of the sedition law. Until then, the Central government would have the time to reevaluate the sedition law. The apex bench mentioned that the defendants already booked and jailed under Section 124A could approach courts for bail.
The court of last resort has suspended the sedition law provision indefinitely until further orders. On Wednesday, the court said that the Union Government is unrestricted to allocate additional guidance to the states.
Thomas Babington Macaulay drafted Section 124A of the IPC, which deals with sedition. Section 124A of the IPC says that spreading hatred against the government of India established by law is a punishable offence. Senior lawyer, Kapil Sibbal, represents petitioners charged under the sedition law. He informed the court that around there are 800 cases of sedition across India, and 13,000 are in jail.
Punishment Under Sedition Law
As sedition is a non-bailable offence, its punishment varies from detention of three years to life term imprisonment. Apart from jail time, the guilty also has to give a fine. Furthermore, a person charged with treason is not allowed to apply for a government job. They have to live without a passport and must give a mandatory presence during any of their court sessions.
In conclusion, the Supreme Court asked the Central Government to frame instructions for the states. To ensure the rights of the defendants arrested under Section 124A, formulating these instructions is essential. The Congress Head, Rahul Gandhi expressed his contentment regarding the court’s decision on Twitter.