SC Seeks Centre’s Reply By Tomorrow On Protecting Citizens From Sedition Cases

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Centre to apprise it about the views on the issue of protection of interest of citizens till the colonial-era penal law on sedition is reconsidered by an appropriate forum.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the Centre was in the process of reconsidering the sedition law. Mehta’s submission came during a hearing on the Constitutional validity of the sedition law.

Mehta was replying to a question by a CJI NV Ramana-led three-judge bench. “How much time would the Centre take to reconsider the sedition law,” the bench asked.

The SG replied: “It is difficult to predict a time frame. But the process has started. You must see the tenor of the affidavit. It’s not just coming from the department. There is application of mind.”

The SC has asked the Centre to clear its stand on pending sedition cases by tomorrow morning.

We are making it very clear. We want instructions. We will give you time till tomorrow. Our specific queries are: one about pending cases and the second, as to how the government will take care of future cases…, said the bench.

It sought a response on the issue saying if future cases can be kept at abeyance till reconsideration is over .

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs in an affidavit filed before the apex court on Tuesday said the decision was in tune with the views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on shedding colonial baggage , noting he has been in favour of the protection of civil liberties and respect of human rights and in that spirit, over 1,500 outdated laws and over 25,000 compliance burdens have been scrapped.

The top court has been hearing a clutch of pleas challenging the validity of the law on sedition which has been under intense public scrutiny for its alleged misuse to settle political scores by various governments.

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