SC to take plea challenging constitutionality of IPC sec 124A-Sedition

New Delhi, Jul 14 : The Supreme Court will hear a petition challenging the constitutionality of the offense of sedition under Section 124A of India Penal Code (IPC) on Thursday.

The petition, filed by Army veteran Major-General SG Vombatkere (Retired), calls the usage of sedition clause “vague” and “curb on free speech”.

Section124A of IPC–Sedition–states–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 in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life.

“Criminalising expression based on unconstitutionally vague definitions of ‘disaffection towards Government’ is an unreasonable restriction on the fundamental right to free expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) and causes constitutionally impermissible ‘chilling effect’ on speech”, contends the plea.

The plea, filed through Advocate Prasanna S, states that there is a need to take into account the “march of the times and the development of the law” before dealing with Section 124A as there has been a sea of change in the interpretation of fundamental rights.

The petitioner urges the Apex Court to consider afresh the question regarding the constitutionality of Section 124A.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, and Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy directed the petitioner to serve a copy of the plea to the Attorney General for India K K Venugopal and decided to take the matter on Thursday.


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