There is no plan to scrap the British era sedition law, said the centre at Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The government said in a written statement that the law was necessary to “effectively combat anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements.”
“There is no proposal to scrap the provision under the IPC [Indian Penal Code] dealing with the offence of sedition,” said Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai.
“There is a need to retain the provision to effectively combat anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements,” he added.
Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code 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 established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.”
The law was used time and again by the BJP government against activists, student leaders and political opponents to curb the voices of dissent. The Congress, in its 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto, had promised to scrap the sedition law if brought to power.