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Sedition Law: Centre Seeks One Week’s Time To File Response in Supreme Court

A three-judge special bench of CJI Ramana will tomorrow hear pleas challenging the validity of the sedition law.

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Law
2 min read
Sedition Law: Centre Seeks One Week’s Time To File Response in Supreme Court
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The Centre on Wednesday, 4 May, once again sought time from the Supreme Court to file its response on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (which deals with the offence of sedition).

In its second application filed in the Supreme Court, the Centre has asked for a week's time to file its response.

A three-judge special bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli will tomorrow hear a batch of pleas challenging the validity of the sedition law.

The government reasoned again on Wednesday that the draft is ready but it needs to be approved by a competent authority.

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On 27 April, the court had directed the central government to file the reply saying it would commence the final hearing in the matter on 5 May and would not entertain any request for adjournment.

Meanwhile, the petition states that a statute criminalising expression based on unconstitutionally vague definitions of ‘disaffection towards Government’ etc "is an unreasonable restriction on the fundamental right to free expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) and causes constitutionally impermissible ‘chilling effect’ on speech," Bar and Bench reported.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal will be leading the arguments for the petitioners arguing that the sedition law is unconstitutional, appearing on behalf of Major General SG Vombatkere, a retired Army officer who filed the lead petition on the issue.

Other petitioners who have challenged Section 124A of the IPC include the Editors Guild of India, as well as veteran journalist and former Union Minister Arun Shourie.

Attorney General for India KK Venugopal will also assist the bench in his official capacity.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench.)

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