Founding father of United State of America has demonstrated like, “The
Liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth
defending against all hazardous: and it is our duty to defend them against all
It will be appropriate and genuine to mention that and it will also be a wise
question to pose, whether it is necessary to keep along those things which are
detrimental or which were used against us during our freedom struggle.
Absolutely not! One would in every circumstances try to disapprove such things.
Actually I want to draw your kind attention to the Indian constitution wherein,
there are provisions which were introduced by the britshers to muzzle the voice
of those people who wanted to be free from British imperialism but
astonishingly, such provisions are still alive in Indian constitution, which the
authorities and police invoke to press the dissent one of the section is 124 A
of Indian penal code.
What Is Section 124 A of IPC?
This section deals with the offence of sedition, a term that covers speech or
rioting or any form of visible representation which brings the Government in to
hatred or contempt or excites disaffection towards the Government or attempts to
It is punishable with three years in prison or a life term. “disaffection”
it says and includes disloyalty and feeling of enmity. It also says expressing
disapproval of Governments measures or action with a view to getting them
changed by lawful means. It will be pertinent to state that the origin and
history of it. This section was introduced in penal code in 1870, a decade after
the Indian penal code came into force. It was a colonial law as I have already
mentioned before, it was directed against strong criticism of British
administration. In other words it was designed to suppress the liberty of the
Two high courts have found it unconstitutional after independence of India as it
violates article 19 of Indian constitution i.e freedom of speech and
expression. However, constitution was amended to include “public order” as one
of the restriction on which free speech can be abridged by law. Therefore the
supreme court in Kedar Nath Singh v/s State of Bihar (1925) upheld its
validity. At the same time it limited its application to acts that involve acts
or tendency to create disorder or incitement or disorder to violence.
Government, by using this section and protecting itself from positive criticism
have made arrests on large scale since past years in which there are activists
cartoonists and intellectuals. Liberals have time and again raised their voice
against this move, demand in scraping of it. Activists and students of
Jawaharlal Lal Nehru University who have been booked under this section is
afresh example although it is sheer violation of law.
Government of India must in no time to initiate a process to reconsider its
validity, it should be scraped from statue book because it has no place in the
modern democracy. This section is being misused even in cases where there is no
violence or tendency to create public disorder British Government abolished it
more than a decade ago why can’t India do so? It is high time for Government to
follow the suggestions of law commission and to protect the liberty of its
citizens and to make sure the value of democracy can’t be devalued, and to make
Written by: Younis Ahad
Email: [email protected]