There’s a strong case to retain Section 124A.
Chapter Six of the IPC section 121 to 130 is titled “Offences against the state”
- which included the offences of waging war against the government of India a
- Collecting arms with the intention of waging such war.
“Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffectiontowards, the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.
The day after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, two persons raised slogans of “Khalistan zindabad” and “Raj karega Khalsa”.
The Supreme Court acquitted the accused,
Observing that the raising of some slogans a few times, which did not evoke any response and did not create any law and order problem, did not attract Section 124A.
Law Commission of India:
In its 42nd report, published in 1971, it wanted the section to be extended to include disaffection towards,
- The Constitution of India
- Parliament and state legislatures
- The administration of justice
- It also wanted the punishment to be reduced to a maximum of seven years
The call for its abolition may be incorrect
- No data on the number of complaints that have been filed under this section in different states.
- What were the seditious utterances or activities?
- How many persons have been convicted?
Without an analysis of the empirical evidence on the implementation of this section, it would be incorrect to abolish it as an anachronistic colonial provision.
Many districts in different states face a Maoist insurgency and rebel groups virtually run a parallel administration.
These groups openly advocate the overthrow of the state government by revolution.
Against the backdrop of this stark reality, the abolition of Section 124A would be ill-advised merely because it has been wrongly invoked in some highly publicised cases.