What is Sedition (IPC 124A) ?

The word Sedition became one of the hot topics in Indian Politics after the JNU row. Mainstream political parties and the Media houses are divided into two half to raise their voice for the use and misuse of this Indian Penal Code (IPC)-124A. Though it is not the first time and surely not the last time that IPC 124A has been slapped by the respective Governments in the states and Centre but recent arrest of the alleged masterminds of JNU incident on charges of Sedition made the headlines in almost all News papers including digital media. Here we have explained the word ‘Sedition’ according to IPC statue book.

Chapter VI of IPC – OF OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE, provided the definition along with the provision of punishment in case it is violated. It states:

124A.

Sedition.

1*[124A. Sedition.–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, 2***the Government established by law in 3*[India], a 4***shall be punished with 5*[imprisonment for life], to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.

Explanation 1.-The expression “disaffection” includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity.

Explanation 2.-Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.

Explanation 3.-Comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.]

Though a sections of media and Intellectuals questioning the validity of the law, a law is a law until it is amended. It is up to the Parliament or the Supreme Court to examine the law and its validity.

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