September 29, 2022

India’s top court suspends use of controversial sedition law

2 min read

The Supreme Court said the colonial-era law would remain in place until the government completes the review. He apparently reprimanded the government, adding that no further cases should be registered under the law until the review is completed.

Rashmi Singh, a lawyer representing the petitioners, told CNN that those currently detained under the law could apply for bail if they were only in jail for sedition.

This week, India’s federal government told the Supreme Court that it was ready to reconsider the law after several petitions were filed in the Supreme Court, challenging it and accusing the government of misusing it. went.

“It’s a big deal and we hope that when it is reconsidered, they will say that this is the law of the colonial era,” he said. “This is definitely a positive step towards ending the coup law.”

The law, introduced by the British colonial government in 1860, was a “spoken or written word, or mark or outward representation” of the government causing “hatred or contempt, or an attempt to create encouragement or dissatisfaction”. Prohibits . The perpetrator could face up to three years in prison.

Experts have accused India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of using the law to silence activists, journalists and other critics. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP came to power in 2014, India has seen rapid implementation.

In 2015, Thirty people were charged with sedition.According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). In 2020, the most recent year for which data is available, this number increased to 73.

In January, Rohinton Nariman, a former Indian Supreme Court judge, criticized the use of treason laws.

They Said Youths, students and stand-up comedians were being prosecuted for criticizing the government while avoiding calling for genocide against other Muslims. to refer For comments made during a three-day program in Haridwar city in December when right-wing Hindus demanded that their followers kill Muslims.

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