May 29, 2024


The Legal System

Not the law, but the abuse of the law


This is the strong argument to contend that Section 124A is anachronistic in a republican Constitution. The use of the words “disaffection” and the inclusive definition has resulted in the Section being widely misused. Indeed, the fault is not so much with the Section itself, but with the manner in which it has been consistently misused to silence critics or simply imprison people even in cases where the facts do not even satisfy the requirement of what Sedition means.

In recent times, the provision has been invoked even against journalists who were on their way to report an alleged rape that occurred in Hathras, persons who were allegedly distributing paper bills as a part of the Sterlite protest, teachers and parents of children who had enacted a play which had allegedly criticised the Prime Minister. These are just a few examples which are symptomatic of the larger problem of repression that is enabled through the misuse of this provision. The abuse is compounded by the impossibility of getting bail in the lower courts and sometimes in the High Courts as well. The recent Supreme Court observations against the grant of bail have also made it increasingly difficult to get bail. The sad reality is that jail has now become the rule and bail has become the exception.


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