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Thursday, November 26, 2020

No plans to scrap sedition law, need provision to fight anti-national elements: Govt

The Congress, in its manifesto released before the Lok Sabha elections, had promised to remove the sedition law from the statute if the party was voted to power.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 3, 2019 6:06:18 pm
Nityananda Rai, Nityanand Rai on sedition, Sedition Minister of State Home Nityanand Rai. (File)

The Union Home Ministry Wednesday said there was no proposal to scrap the sedition law under the IPC. Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai told the Rajya Sabha that the provision was required “to effectively combat anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements”.

In reply to a written question by TRS MP Banda Prakash who had asked if the government was mulling to scrap the colonial-era law, Rai said, “There is no proposal to scrap the provision under the IPC dealing with the offence of sedition. There is a need to effectively combat anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements.”

Section 124A, which defines sedition, says, “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 the Government shall be punishable with life Imprisonment”.

The sedition law, which provides for a minimum three-years jail and a maximum life term, has been invoked several times.

The Congress, in its manifesto released before the Lok Sabha elections, had promised to remove the sedition law from the statute if the party was voted to power.

“Omit Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (that defines the offence of ‘sedition’) that has been misused and, in any event, has become redundant because of subsequent laws,” the manifesto had said. The BJP had criticised the Congress for making the promise.

Then Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said the NDA government would work towards strengthening sedition law which will help in dealing stringently with “anti-national” elements who want to malign the country’s reputation.

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