The law on sedition, which provides for a maximum jail term of life under section 124A of the IPC for creating "disaffection towards the government", was brought into the penal code in 1890.
The bench declined the request of the Centre to defer the reference to a larger bench as Parliament is in the process of re-enacting the provisions of the penal code.
Centre can define parameters under which law can apply, so people know their limits, says Justice Ajay Rastogi (Retd)
According to existing provision of section 124A, punishment can be up to three years imprisonment, with or without fine, which may go up to imprisonment for life, with or without fine.
Law panel recommendation on sedition law has worrying aspects for a democratic country, says leading SC advocate Kirti Singh
Uttar Pradesh witnessed a surge in sedition cases after the CAA protests and then the rape of a Dalit teen at Hathras in 2020.
However, this consultation paper or its suggestions are not available on the current Law Commission’s website.
As for safeguards, it suggested a preliminary inquiry by a police officer in the rank of Inspector before filing the FIR.
The former Union minister's remarks came after the Law Commission proposed retaining the penal provision for the offence of sedition.
The commission also said that the said section is not violative of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression and is a reasonable restriction under article 19(2) of the Constitution.
The Commission said sedition being a "colonial legacy" is not a valid ground for its repeal.