UN Human Rights Office Praises SC Order On Sedition Law

Supreme Court

New Delhi: The United Nations Human Rights office has praised the order passed by the Supreme Court on sedition. It has also called for immediate release of all who were detained under this law.

“We welcome the Indian Supreme Court’s order to reconsider the Sedition Law, which has been used arbitrarily & widely against peaceful critics. All those currently detained under the law should be considered for immediate release,” the UN Human Rights said in a tweet on Thursday, May 12.

The Supreme Court on May 11, ruled that the sedition statute be put on hold while the administration completes its assessment. Those who are already facing sedition accusations can seek bail from the courts. “The Union of India will reconsider the law. The petitioners say the law is being misused. The Attorney General had also mentioned the sedition charge filed in Hanuman Chalisa case. It will be appropriate not to use this provision of law till further re-examination is over. We hope and expect that centre and state will desist from registering any FIR under 124A or initiate proceeding under the same till re-examination is over,” said Chief Justice NV Ramana.

Section 124A under the Indian Penal Code defines sedition as: “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 estab­lished by law shall be punished with im­prisonment for life, to which fine may be added…”

Under this controversial law, total 326 cases were registered between 2014 and 2019. In this six persons were convicted. In Assam, 54 cases were registered, chargesheets were filed in 26 cases and trials were completed in 25 cases. However, the Home Ministry Data showed that not a single case led to conviction between 2014 and 2019.

In Uttar Pradesh, 17 cases were filed and in West Bengal eight cases were filed between 2014 and 2019. While chargesheets were filed in eight cases in UP and in five cases in West Bengal, no one was convicted in the two states.

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