The Supreme court ordered the centre to file a response to a plea challenging section-124 A
The petitions challenging section 124A of the Indian penal code were posted on 5th May 2022, for the final hearing by the supreme court on Wednesday. Two writ petitions filed by Army Veteran Major General SG Vombatkere (Retired) and the Editors guild of India were considered by the bench comprising of Chief Justice of India, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli. After the submission by the Solicitor general of India that the Central government counter-affidavit is ready and can be filed within two days, the court directed the Centre to file an affidavit by the end of this week. The reply to the affidavit should be filed by upcoming Tuesday. After such directions to the centre, the matter shifted for the final disposal on the date mentioned above. The bench said that – we’ll have hear on 5th May, No Adjournment, we’ll have a full day Hearing. Some of the petitions were still left for the listing on the same point of law as Kapil Sabil a senior advocate appeared for the petitioners, Similarly, Sanjay Parikh another senior advocate provided a petition before the apex court filled by Peoples union of civil liberties, likewise, Vrinda Grover also a senior advocate mentioned a petition filed by the journalists- Patricia and Anuradha. On this point, CJI asked that Is it was necessary to multiply the petitions on the same point of law and delay the matter?
In response, Advocate Parikh said that he will assist Mr Sabil in the lead case and will not multiply the Submissions on the same point of Law. CJI had made censorious remarks against the Provision while issuing a notice regarding the petitions in July. 2022. CJI had questioned before the Attorney General of India that- “Is it still essential to retain this colonial law which the Britishers used to suppress Gandhi and Tilak even for 75 years of independence. CJI further submitted about the history of the section124A that ‘If we go to see history of the charging of this section, the immense power of the section is compared to a carpenter being given a saw to make an item uses it to cut the whole forest instead of a tree’. Another bench comprising Justice U.U. Lalit, Indra Banerjee and KM Joseph were hearing a writ petition filed by two journalists, working in Manipur and Chhattisgarh respectively, who urged the court to declare section-124A of IPC as unconstitutional. In April 2021, the bench had issued notice on a petition to the Attorney general on April 30 for granting two weeks to file their responses. The bench granted them time and adjourned the matter for further hearing. The writ petition was filed through advocate Tanima Kishore and drafted by advocated Siddharth seem on behalf of the petitioners- Kishore Chandra and Kanhaiya Lal Shukla journalists, who alleged that the impugned section infringes the Fundamental right granted under Article 19(1)(a) of the constitution of India which guarantees that “all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression”.
The Impugned section was restricting unreasonably and therefore does not compose a permissible restriction in the terms of Article 19(2) of the constitution. The petitioners propounded that the vagueness of section124A draws an unacceptable chilling effect on the democratic freedoms of individuals, who can’t enjoy their democratic rights and liberty, against the scenery of fear of life imprisonment. The plea argued while citing the apex court decision upholding the validity of the Law in 1962, in the case of Kedar Nath Singh vs. State of Bihar that- the court may have been correct in its findings nearly 60 years ago, but the law which is outmoded in the contemporary scenario, does not pass constitutionally today. The plea stated that- ‘petitioners have been raising questions against their respective state governments and central government as responsible journalists.’ They have been charged with sedition under section 124A of IPC in various FIRs for cartoons and comments which were shared by them on the social media website Facebook. It further states- The apex court in Kedar Nath Singh Vs. The state of Bihar did not read down the section amply, Basis for criminal liability as Retaining intention and tendency means that these inherently subjective terms can be used and abused to penalize the one who hasn’t caused any violence or public disorder.
Tags : #Supremecourt #Delhi #Leaders #section-124A # #Constitution #violence #publicorder #FIR #Facebook