Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Rule of Law

SC Order putting sedition law on hold to continue

A bench consisting of Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi was told by Attorney General R Venkataramani that some more time be granted to the Centre as "something may happen in the winter session of Parliament".

Sabrangindia 31 Oct 2022

Sedition Law
Image Courtesy: telegraphindia.com

An interim order by the Supreme Court putting on hold the contentious sedition law and the consequential registration of FIRs will continue as the SC granted more time to the Centre on October 31 to take “appropriate steps” with regard to the reviewing of the colonial-era provision.

Attorney General R Venkataramani told the bench that some more time be granted to the Centre as “something may happen in the winter session of Parliament”. The senior most law officer said the issue has been under consideration of the authorities concerned and moreover, there was “no reason to worry” in view of the May 11 interim order, which had put the use of the provision on hold.

“Mr R Venkataramani, the attorney general, submits that in terms of the directions issued by this court in order dated May 11, 2022, the matter is still engaging the attention of the relevant authorities. He submits that some additional time be granted so that appropriate steps can be taken by the government.

“In view of the interim directions issued by this court…dated May 11, 2022, every interest and concern stand protected and as such there would be no prejudice to anyone. At his request, we adjourn the matter to the second week of January, 2023,” the bench said.

The SC also took note of other petitions on the matter and issued notices to the Centre, seeking its reply in six weeks’ time. In a landmark order passed on May 11, the court had put the contentious law on hold till the Centre completed its promised review of the colonial relic and also asked the Union and state governments not to register any fresh case invoking the offence.

The court had also directed that the ongoing probes, pending trials and all proceedings under the sedition law will be kept in abeyance across the country and those in jail on sedition charges could approach the court for bail.

The offence of sedition, which was included in section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in 1890, has been under intense public scrutiny for its use as a tool against expressions of dissent, including on social media. The British government, during its colonial rule, had used the sedition law primarily to suppress dissent and imprison freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

The Editors Guild of India, Major General (Retd) S G Vombatkere, former Union minister Arun Shourie and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have filed petitions against the penal provision. The petitions contend that the law causes a “chilling effect” on free speech and is an unreasonable restriction on free expression, a fundamental right.

Related:

Landmark ruling: SC orders Sedition law to be kept in abeyance
 The Draconian Sedition Law in Independent India

SC Order putting sedition law on hold to continue

A bench consisting of Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi was told by Attorney General R Venkataramani that some more time be granted to the Centre as "something may happen in the winter session of Parliament".

Sedition Law
Image Courtesy: telegraphindia.com

An interim order by the Supreme Court putting on hold the contentious sedition law and the consequential registration of FIRs will continue as the SC granted more time to the Centre on October 31 to take “appropriate steps” with regard to the reviewing of the colonial-era provision.

Attorney General R Venkataramani told the bench that some more time be granted to the Centre as “something may happen in the winter session of Parliament”. The senior most law officer said the issue has been under consideration of the authorities concerned and moreover, there was “no reason to worry” in view of the May 11 interim order, which had put the use of the provision on hold.

“Mr R Venkataramani, the attorney general, submits that in terms of the directions issued by this court in order dated May 11, 2022, the matter is still engaging the attention of the relevant authorities. He submits that some additional time be granted so that appropriate steps can be taken by the government.

“In view of the interim directions issued by this court…dated May 11, 2022, every interest and concern stand protected and as such there would be no prejudice to anyone. At his request, we adjourn the matter to the second week of January, 2023,” the bench said.

The SC also took note of other petitions on the matter and issued notices to the Centre, seeking its reply in six weeks’ time. In a landmark order passed on May 11, the court had put the contentious law on hold till the Centre completed its promised review of the colonial relic and also asked the Union and state governments not to register any fresh case invoking the offence.

The court had also directed that the ongoing probes, pending trials and all proceedings under the sedition law will be kept in abeyance across the country and those in jail on sedition charges could approach the court for bail.

The offence of sedition, which was included in section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in 1890, has been under intense public scrutiny for its use as a tool against expressions of dissent, including on social media. The British government, during its colonial rule, had used the sedition law primarily to suppress dissent and imprison freedom fighters such as Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

The Editors Guild of India, Major General (Retd) S G Vombatkere, former Union minister Arun Shourie and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have filed petitions against the penal provision. The petitions contend that the law causes a “chilling effect” on free speech and is an unreasonable restriction on free expression, a fundamental right.

Related:

Landmark ruling: SC orders Sedition law to be kept in abeyance
 The Draconian Sedition Law in Independent India

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives