Centre Defends Sedition Law In Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Central Government, defending the sedition law before the Supreme Court on Saturday, said that individual instances of misuse of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code cannot be the basis of reconsideration of the law and that the the 1962 verdict of the apex court in Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar is binding and that there is no need to revisit the same.

A written note filed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta before the top court said that the Kedar Nath Singh judgment of the Supreme Court, that upheld the validity of Section 124A of IPC, was rendered by a five-judge Constitution bench and therefore, a three-judge bench cannot hear the legal challenge to Constitutionality of Section 124A.

This comes after the top court has been hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutionality of Section 124A.

Solicitor General Mehta’s note further said that the Kedar Nath Singh judgement has stood the test of time and has applied till date in tune with the modern constitutional principles and only a bench of co-equal strength of Kedar Nath Singh can pose doubts, if any, on the verdict. Therefore, according to the note, for reconsideration of Kedar Nath Singh, the matter will have to be referred to a bench of five-judges or more.

Defending the sedition law, the government submitted that individual instances of the abuse of provision can never be a justification to reconsider a binding judgement of the Constitution bench.

“The remedy would lie in preventing such abuse on a case-to-case basis rather than doubting a long standing settled law declared by a constitution bench since about six decades,” the written note, as quoted by Bar and Bench read.

It is to be noted that the top court is scheduled to hear the arguments on whether the pleas challenging the validity of sedition under Section 124A has to be referred to a Constitution bench, on May 10.

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