Advocates Aditya Ranjan, Varun Thakur and V Elenchezhiyan filed a plea before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of Section 124-A, or the sedition law, reports Livelaw. The petition was filed through Advocate Sanjay Kumar Pathak.
Instigated by the section's misuse, the plea emphasized on the colonial origin and nature of the law introduced by the British. Such a Section, which lacks procedural safeguards and fails to lay down responsibility on the police in case of misuse, has no place in a constitutional democracy, asserts the plea.
The petition further added that the law stifled freedom of speech and expression and threatened citizens' life and liberty if they dissent government propositions. The Right to question, criticize and change the public representatives and the Government is fundamental to democracy, noted the petitioners.
The petition also demanded instructions to the Government to be conveyed to heads of police and DGPs to ensure that the law is practised as described by the Supreme Court in the Kedar Nath case and Balwant Singh Case. In the two cases, the SC had limited the section's cover to include written or spoken words that implicitly subvert the Government by violent means alone. The SC also called for greater sensitivity and refrain from the police and demanded that speech be considered as "a whole in a free, fair and liberal spirit."