Will Re-Examine Laws on Sedition: Centre to Supreme Court
The Centre's fresh affidavit was filed a day before Supreme Court was slated to hear arguments on reconsideration of its Kedar Nath judgment.
The Centre on Monday said that it was willing to re-examine and re-consider sedition laws and that the Supreme Court need not waste time examining the validity of the same, marking a significant u-turn from its previous stance.
The Centre's stand comes barely 48 hours after it told the Supreme Court that its 1962 Kedar Nath judgment upholding the constitutional validity of Section 124a of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which deals with sedition was "good law" and did not need reconsideration.
The Supreme Court on May 10 was slated to hear arguments on whether it needed to reconsider its 1962 Kedar Nath judgment which says that only that speech that incites violence is sedition, anything else is exempt.
The Centre asked the Supreme Court to defer its hearing on the challenge to the constitutional validity of sedition till such time the government concludes its reconsideration exercise.
"The Government of India being fully cognizant of various views being expressed on the subject of sedition and also having considered the concerns of civil liberties and human rights, while committed to maintain and protect the sovereignty and integrity of this great nation, has decided to re-examine and reconsider the provisions of Section 124A (law on sedition) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which can be done only before the competent forum," the brief affidavit read.
The Centre filed its affidavit on a batch of pleas that sought to scrap sedition laws.
Also Read: No Need To Reconsider Judgment On Sedition: Centre Tells SC
Time to shed colonial baggage, and outdated colonial laws: Centre to SC
The Centre told the Supreme Court that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's belief that in the spirit of 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' in commemoration of our country's 75th independence this August, it was time to shed colonial baggage which include outdated colonial laws.
In this spirit, the government has scrapped more than 1500 laws since 2014 and discontinued over 25,000 compliance burdens that were causing unnecessary hurdles to the citizens of this country. Various offences which were causing mindless hindrances to people have also been decriminalised, the affidavit read.
"This is an ongoing process. These were laws and compliances which reeked of a colonial mindset and thus have no place in today's India," the affidavit filed by an additional secretary in the Home Ministry said.
Also Read: Explained: What Is Sedition And Why The SC Wants It Dropped
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