A Study on the Historical and Contemporary Impact of Sedition Laws in India with Comparison to the International Front

  • V Haricharan
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  • V Haricharan

    Student at the Tamil Nadu Dr, Ambedkar Law University, School of Excellence in Law, India

  • M K Guru Prasath

    Student at the Tamil Nadu Dr, Ambedkar Law University, School of Excellence in Law, India

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Sedition laws in India, outlined in Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), carry a complex history and remain a focal point of considerable debate. Originating during the colonial era under British rule, these laws were initially crafted to suppress dissent and quash movements against British authority. However, in the post-independence era, the continued existence of sedition laws has prompted discussions regarding their relevance in a democratic society. Section 124A defines sedition as any act or attempt to evoke hatred or contempt towards the government established by law through words, signs, or visible representation. The controversy surrounding sedition laws predominantly centers on their potential misuse to stifle dissent and impede freedom of expression. Critics argue that the severe penalties associated with these laws can be wielded against individuals expressing legitimate criticism of government policies, thus infringing upon the fundamental right to free speech. The question of whether it is necessary to abolish sedition laws in India has become a contentious issue. Advocates for their retention argue that these laws are essential for maintaining public order and safeguarding the integrity of the state. They contend that in a diverse and populous democracy like India, where divergent opinions and ideologies coexist, legal provisions are necessary to prevent attempts to destabilize the government through violent means. Conversely, proponents of the abolition of sedition laws assert that they are relics of a bygone era and are inconsistent with the principles of free speech in a democratic society. Concerns about their misuse, especially against journalists, activists, and dissenting voices, have fueled calls for reform or repeal. Striking a balance between protecting national security and upholding democratic values remains a nuanced challenge, prompting ongoing discussions about the necessity and appropriateness of retaining or abolishing sedition laws in India.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 6, Page 1577 - 1595

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.116279

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