Centre urges SC not to invest time in examining validity of sedition law

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The Centre Monday urged the Supreme Court not to invest time in examining the constitutional validity of the penal law on sedition saying it has decided to re-examine and re-consider the provision which can only be done before the competent forum.

A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli on May 5 had said that it would hear arguments on May 10 on the legal question of whether the pleas challenging the colonial-era penal law on sedition be referred to a larger bench for reconsidering the 1962 verdict of a five-judge constitution bench in the Kedar Nath Singh case.

The affidavit, filed by an official of the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that the government has decided to “re-examine and re-consider the provisions of Section 124A of the IPC which can only be done before the competent forum.”

“In view of the…, it is respectfully submitted that this Hon`ble court may not invest time in examining the validity of section 124A of the IPC once again and be pleased to await the exercise of reconsideration to be undertaken by the Government of India before an appropriate forum where such reconsideration is constitutionally permitted,” the affidavit said.

In another written submission, filed on Saturday last, the Centre had defended the penal law and the 1962 verdict of a constitution bench upholding its validity, saying they have withstood “the test of time” about six decades and the instances of its abuse would never be a justification of reconsideration.

The top court has been hearing a clutch of pleas challenging the validity of the law on sedition. 

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Originally published at www.mid-day.com

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