“All The King’s Men Cannot Save That Law”: Chidambaram’s Dig At Kiren Rijiju Over Sedition Law

New Delhi: The ruling BJP and opposition Congress continue to trade barbs over the historic Supreme Court order on the colonial-era sedition law. Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram slammed Law Minister Kiren Rijiju over his “Lakshman Rekha” remark, on Thursday.

The apex court has put the application of the controversial sedition law on hold. After this Rijiju had said while he “respected the court and its independence”, there is a “Lakshman Rekha” that cannot be crossed.

Reacting to this remark made by him Chidambaram said the Law Minister has no authority to draw any “arbitrary Lakshman Rekha”. He should read article 13 of the Constitution which allows for any pre-constitution law to be declared void if they are inconsistent with constitutional rights.

Chidambaram taking to Twitter wrote, “The Legislature cannot make a law, nor can a law be allowed to remain on the statute book, that violates the Fundamental Rights. The sedition law, in the view of many legal scholars, violates Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution.”

Taking a dig at the Centre he said, “All the King’s horses and all the King’s men cannot save that law.”

Rijiju gave a fitting reply to the minister. He pointed out that the first amendment to the Constitution was brought in by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It sought to limit the fundamental rights to protect against “abuse of freedom of speech and expression”.

“That’s why Nehru Ji brought in the First Amendment and Smt Indira Gandhi made Section 124A a cognisable offence for the first time in India’s history?

And during Anna Movement & the other anti-corruption movements citizens were subjected to harassment, intimidation and arrests?” he said on Twitter.

“We’ve made our positions very clear and also informed the court about the intention of our PM (Prime Minister Narendra Modi). We respect the court and its independence. But there’s a ‘Lakshman Rekha’ that must be respected by all organs of the state in letter and spirit. We have to ensure that we respect the provisions of the Indian Constitution as well as existing laws,” the Law Minister told reporters about the court order yesterday.

“We respect each other, the court should respect government, legislature, so as government should also respect court. We have clear demarcation of boundary and that Lakshman Rekha should not be crossed by anybody,” Rijiju added.

Rijiju had evaded a question on whether he believed the Supreme Court’s decision was wrong.

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