NEW DELHI: The central government has informed the Supreme Court that it has decided to reconsider and re-examine the provision (Section 124A of Indian Penal Code, 1860) dealing with the sedition law. It has further asked the top court to wait till it conducts the reconsideration exercise.
The central government in an affidavit has said that it is committed to maintaining and protecting the sovereignty of the nation as well as removing outdated colonial laws.
When the country is celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the government is working to shed colonial baggage, it said.
"The government of India being fully cognizant of various views being expressed on the subject of sedition and also having considered the concerns of civil liberties and human rights, while committed to maintain and protect the sovereignty and integrity of this great nation, has decided to reexamine and reconsider the provisions of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code which can be done only before the competent forum," the written response reads.
The Union government has said that as the country is set to complete 75 years of Independence and celebrate 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav', the nation collectively needs to shed the "colonial baggage" which includes outdated laws.
This comes days after it filed an affidavit defending the sedition law.
The central government while defending the sedition law had told the Supreme Court that instances of the abuse of provision (section 124A of Indian Penal Code, 1860) would never be a justification to reconsider a binding judgment of the constitution bench. The Centre has said that the judgement in the 1962 case of Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar by a constitution bench judgment is a good law and needs no reconsideration.
In that judgement, a five-judge bench had upheld the section 124A(sedition) of Indian Penal Code, 1860, while watering down some aspects of it.
A lot of petitions challenging the law have urged a reconsideration of the 1962 judgment.
The Centre had added that the Kedar Nath judgement considered the constitutional validity of Section 124A from the perspective of all constitutional principles including the test of Article 14, 19, 21 contained in Part III of the constitution.
The Centre in its written submissions has added that the remedy would lie in preventing such abuse on a case-to-case basis rather than doubting a long-standing settled law declared by a constitution bench since about six decades.
The Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutionality of section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The top court will hear the case on Tuesday.