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Are Governments Misusing Sedition Law? Experts Weigh In

A debate has ensued whether sedition law finds a place in today’s India.

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In the wake of the charge sheet filed against former JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and others, the sedition debate has once again come to the fore.

Speaking in a BloombergQuint panel discussion, former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee said that the law has often been misused by “ignorant and ill-informed law enforcement agencies”.

“The Supreme Court has made it clear that criticism of the government in any form does not amount to sedition. It can be termed as sedition only if it incites violence,” he said.

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Sorabjee, however, said that the law is not outdated and should find place in the statute books.

BJP spokesperson and senior advocate Nalin Kohli also stressed on the need of the law. “Had the law become outdated, the courts would have struck it down,” he said

On the question of governments using it to muzzle dissenting voices, he said “There is no other statute that is available if somebody would be waging a war, spreading disaffection against government or inciting violence. It’s not about criticism of the government but the implicit attempt to spread disaffection against it,” Kohli said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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