Maharashtra government on Tuesday, Sept 11 is reported to have sought legal opinion regarding its decision of dropping sedition case against Trivedi who earlier on Monday refused to apply for bail.
The arrested cartoonist surprised all by asserting, "I am not seeking bail because I am proud of whatever I did, and this I will do it repeatedly. I am not a criminal that I should deposit money and seek bail, but till the time the charges of sedition are not dropped against me, I will continue to be in jail."
Citing a legal complaint against his cartoons lodged by a lawyer, Mumbai police arrested Trivedi on Saturday and sent him to seven days police custody. He was produced again before a court on Monday which sent him to judicial custody till Sept 24. He was booked under the charges of IPC Section 124 A for sedition, Section 66 A of IT Act and under National Emblem Act, 1971.
Here remains few questions? What is sedition? Can cartoonists be booked under the charges of sedition? What about the freedom of speech and expression rights?
What is sedition?
Sedition is conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch. Sedition is the stirring up of rebellion against the government in power. Sedition is encouraging one's fellow citizens to rebel against their state.
Who is Seditionist?
A person who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition is called a seditionist.
Is Aseem Trivedi a guilty?
Trivedi, whose cartoons were seen at the protest venue where Anna Hazare had held agitation in Delhi in Dec 2011, believes that he has not committed any crime yet. His cartoons criticise the current political system where political leaders allegedly are involved in several corruption cases. [Read: 8 'seditious' cartoons for which Aseem Trivedi was arrested]
Trivedi's arrest compelled many to raise their eyebrows who asked why Trivedi has been targetted when he did not accuse anybody personally? When people hurl allegations against political leaders verbally, no actions are taken against those but the rules have been changed when it comes to Trivedi.
Freedom of Speech and Expression:
According to Article 19(1)(a) of Indian Constitution, all citizens have right to freedom of speech and expression. Then why did Maharashtra government book Trivedi? Did he ask anybody to join any protest against the government? No. He merely wanted to enlighten the society about the present situation in India. If creating awareness in the society is "sedition", then Indians should be ready to digest the news about many other arrests.