Updated: March 3, 2021 8:49:11 pm
Expressing views that are different from government opinion will not attract the offence of sedition, the Supreme Court said today, dismissing a petition against Jammu and Kashmir MP Farooq Abdullah, Bar & Bench reported.
A Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta said that expressing views which are different from the opinion of the government will not be seditious, Bar & Bench reported.
The petition against the National Conference leader is linked to his comments protesting against the centre’s move to scrap the special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. The petition filed by Rajat Sharma and Dr Neh Srivastava, both belonging to an organisation Vishwa Guru India Vision of Sardar Patel, alleged that the former chief minister is trying to “hand over” Kashmir to China and thus, he should be prosecuted for Sedition.
“Mr Farooq Abdullah has committed an offence punishable under section 124-A of Indian Penal Code. As he has made the live statement that for restoring Article 370 he would take help of China which clearly amount to seditious act and therefore he is liable to be punished under section 124-A of the IPC,” the plea said.
The Srinagar MP was under detention in his home on Gupkar Road, Srinagar — that was declared a subsidiary jail —since the August 5 revocation of Article 370. After the initial 12 day custody at home, the state administration extended his detention for three months until December 15. And a second extension was granted December, allowing for Abdullah to be held until March 15. The maximum period for which such detention could be extended is two years. Farooq Abdullah was later released on March 13, 2020.
(With PTI inputs)
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