Sedition law put on hold: Key observations by the Supreme Court
New Delhi, May 11: The 152 year old sedition law was put on hold by the Supreme Court. The court also told the government that no new cases should be lodged under the British era legislation unless the provisions are fully re-examined.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India, N V Ramana said that it would not be appropriate to invoke the law amidst a constitutional challenge and hence those booked under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) can approach courts for bail. "We hope and expect that Centre and states will restrain from registering fresh FIRs under Section 124A, the order read.
It would be appropriate to put the provision in abeyance until the government reviews the sedition law, the Bench said
"It will be appropriate not to use this provision of law till further re-examination is over
We hope and expect the Centre and States will desist from registering any FIR under Section 124A or initiate proceedings under the same till the re-examination is done
Those jailed under the provision or those being prosecuted can approach the trial courts for bail
The trial courts will adjudicate the grievance of those who approach it, the Supreme Court also said
The government's request not to stay the sedition law was rejected by the Supreme Court holding it must balance civil liberty and sovereignty of the State
The government is at liberty to issue additional guidelines on checking instances of misuse of the sedition law
Those convicted for sedition can face a jail term ranging from 3 years to life imprisonment, with or without fine