Bengaluru, Aug 19: The sedition charge against NGO Amnesty International for allowing people to raise anti-India slogans at an event it had organised last week is completely justified, says former Supreme Court judge Santhosh Hegde.
Speaking to OneIndia, Justice Hegde said, "Amnesty International cannot escape responsibility for the slogans by saying none of its employees shouted them".
He said the sedition charge in the Amnesty case met the test the Supreme Court had laid down -- that the charge can be made out only if the sloganeering leads to violence. "In this case, there were widespread protests and violence after the slogans were raised, and this, according to me, falls under the purview of what the Supreme Court has said on the sedition law".
Justice Hegde also pointed to the Kanhaiya Kumar incident at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. "Do you recollect the 'Bharat ki barbadi' slogans? Are these not matters pertaining to the integrity of the nation? Are we supposed to keep quiet? If we do not nip it in the bud, one can only wonder where it will all end."
On Amnesty International's responsibility, Justice Hegde said, "They arranged the programme, called the speakers and asked them to speak. They provided the platform.
They are abettors to the sloganeering and they cannot run away from that. If you raise such slogans, it amounts to sedition".
Justice Hegde went on to say, "What is the credibility of Amnesty International? What did they do when soldiers were killed? What did they do when terrorist activities were on the rise? Did they bother to call for such a meeting? What took place in Bengaluru under Amnesty's auspices is a clear case of sedition."