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India’s top court suspends British-era sedition law – The Citizen



India’s Supreme Court On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government suspended colonial-era terrorism law says activists use Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to target free speech and dissent.

Critics of Modi say the law, once used by Britain to target independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, has been abused by his government against many journalists, activists and students.

Article 124A of the Indian Penal Code gives the police broad powers to arrest persons, who may even be sentenced to life imprisonment, for an act or speech which “incites or attempts hatred or contempt, or incites or seeks to provoke dissatisfaction. towards government ”.

“The severity of Section 124A () is not in line with current social life, and was intended for a period when this country was under colonial rule,” India’s chief justice NV Ramana, as part of a tribunal of three judges to hear a petition against the law, said.

Ramana called on the government not to file any new ripper cases and to suspend ongoing street investigations.

“All trials, appeals and proceedings pending” were presided over, the court said, “to be detained” pending the “re-examination of the provision”.

The government on Monday said it had decided to “re-examine and rethink” the law but it remained in force.

The supreme court also encouraged people imprisoned for insurrection to go to the local courts on bail.

India’s official crime data say 236 people were charged with assault charges between 2018 and 2020.

The law has long been abused by all ruling Indian political parties, but critics say Bharatiya Janata Modi (BJP) has expanded its scope, including targeting minorities and ideological dissidents.

The most populous state government in India, Uttar Pradesh, led by the BJP brand monk Yogi Adityanath is a particularly enthusiastic user of the law.

Police then jailed last year three Indian-run Kashmir students for insurrection after celebrating India’s victory over Pakistan’s arch-rivals in a cricket match.

India sparked global outrage last year after 22-year-old climate change activist Disha Ravi was arrested in a riot for allegedly creating a “toolkit” to help anti-government farmers’ protests.

India’s top court suspends British-era sedition law – The Citizen Source link India’s top court suspends British-era sedition law – The Citizen

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