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Section 124A Was A Colonial Weapon of Britisher

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 attacks”.

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 do so.

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 then citizens.

Constitutional Validity

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 Democracy impartial.

Written by: Younis Ahad
Email: [email protected] 

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