Sedition – Abuse of Process of Law & Threat to Survival of Democracy

Rajnish Maniktala
Senior Advocate at HP High Court Shimla, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

The offence of Sedition, as contained in section 124-A of Indian Penal Code, is one of the most abused provisions of law. Despite the fact that Supreme Court laid down its essential ingredients in its Constitution Bench judgment in Kedar Nath case, followed by a number of other judgments, it is still mischievously invoked by overzealous people who cannot tolerate any criticism to the government’s point of view or by the government itself. A large percentage of such cases result in acquittal. But the ever increasing instances of use of this provision have a suffocating impact upon right to free speech and expression and democratic future of this country. The country of its origin, United Kingdom, has removed it from the Statute Book. In these circumstances, what should be the way out for us?