Sedition law to be suspended until review: Supreme Court’s landmark order

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Sedition: if new cases are filed, accused persons can go to court

New Delhi:
The sedition law will be put on hold until the government completes its review, the Supreme Court said today in a landmark order that impacts hundreds of indictees under the colonial-era regime. Those who are already charged with sedition can apply to the courts for bail.

Here’s your 10-point cheat sheet for this big story:

  1. All pending cases will be put on hold while the government reviews the sedition law, the Supreme Court has said, referring to petitions challenging the law alleging its misuse in cases like Maharashtra, where it has been invoked to the chanting of Hanuman Chalisa.

  2. “It will be appropriate not to use this provision of the law until the review is completed. We hope and expect that the center and the State will refrain from registering any FIR under 124 A (law on sedition) or to initiate proceedings under the same until the review is completed, the review is completed,” said Chief Justice NV Ramana.

  3. If new cases are filed, accused persons can go to court.

  4. “The Union of India is free to issue guidelines to the states to prevent the misuse of the law,” the Chief Justice added.

  5. The government, which announced its decision to review the sedition law in a major U-turn, argued that it did not support a suspension of the law. He had recommended that for now, only senior police officers should press charges of sedition.

  6. “The government is proposing to the Supreme Court that a police officer at the superintendent’s level or above decide, at this time, whether a sedition charge should be filed in future FIRs,” said the Center’s attorney, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, in the Supreme Court. To research.

  7. “There has to be a level of scrutiny, where a responsible officer is there to look at the seriousness of the situation and there would of course be legal forums,” the solicitor general said, adding that a law cannot be suspended on the basis of a PIL (Public Interest Litigation).

  8. Ongoing cases, the government said, were already before the courts. “And they may involve terrorism, money laundering and other additional charges. They are already before the courts and should be left to the courts to decide,” the government said.

  9. “We don’t know the seriousness of the pan-Indian offences. There may also be other terrorism charges in these cases. These ongoing cases are not before the police or the government. But they are before the courts. We so we must not second guess the wisdom of the courts,” Mr. Mehta said.

  10. The petitioners objected to the government’s position and urged the court to suspend the sedition law until the government’s review of colonial-era legislation is complete. To which, the Solicitor General said, “We cannot undermine the respect of the judiciary of the country.


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