Law of Sedition: A Threat to Free Speech

  • Sada Anjum
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  • Sada Anjum

    Research Scholar at Department of Law, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India

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The law of sedition has been receiving criticism from different corners since its inception during the colonial times in India. The prime aim behind introducing the law by the British was to suppress the voices and keep the nationalist sentiments under check in India. However, in the post-independence era, this law seems vague given the fact that freedom of speech is considered as the soul of a democratic country. Invoking of sedition laws at many instances over the recent years has again raised questions on the undemocratic nature and validity of these laws in the present constitutional democracy. As such, it may be asserted that the law on sedition in India serves as a tool of harassment and persecution to demean the freedom of speech. Observations and arguments circulating in this regard depict that this law faces grave mishandling in the name of national security. Rule of Law prevails in India and hence, false accusation on a person for the offence of Sedition is an act that goes contrary to the spirit of constitutionalism or India’s liberal constitutional order. Despite knowing that the misapplication of this law is unjustified in our democratic society, various governments have used and are still using, the sedition law, as an instrument, for curbing the dissenting voices to settle political scores. With this backdrop, the researcher explores the law on sedition under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, by collating all the debates of repealing and amending these laws in addition to bringing forth the historical genesis of the law since its inception in colonial India. The study attempts to examine the role played by the judiciary in enriching the freedom of speech when faced with cases of sedition. Furthermore, an analysis of the responses and modus operandi of the Supreme Court while deciding the cases related to sedition has been executed to elucidate the theme with a proper methodology.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 5, Page 442 - 452


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