Sedition law will not be repealed, says Amit Shah’s ministry
The Union Home Ministry clarified on Wednesday that the contentious sedition law will not be scrapped. The Minister of State for Home, Nityanand Rai told the Parliament that there was “need to retain the provisions to effectively combat anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements.”
Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code, popularly known as the sedition law, has been at the centre of political debate due to its alleged misuse to curb essential freedoms enjoyed by citizens--like freedom of speech--under the constitution.
The Congress party had made scrapping the law, a central piece of its poll manifesto and was attacked by the rival BJP for taking an alleged anti-national stance.
The Prime Minister had in his election campaign questioned Congress’ intention in opposing the law which the government sees as an effective instrument against alleged anti-national elements.
The sedition law, which provides for a minimum 3-years jail and a maximum life term, has been invoked several times.
The law states; “whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards Government shall be punished with imprisonment for three years or for life along with a fine. “
Human Rights activist allege that the law gives sweeping powers to law enforcing wings of the government.