Written by: Shreya (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)
What is Sedition?
A law relating to sedition is defined under section 124A in Indian Penal Code. Sedition law was enacted in the 17th Century during the time of Britishers. They believed that the government’s opinion is always correct for ordinary people and those who do not obey the same opinion they must be charged/punished for Sedition. Mahatma Gandhi was arrested for sedition for his article in Young India. In law, sedition is nothing but it is an act of spreading disaffection against the government. It is generally conducted through speech and organization. Any defamatory words against the government mays are caused by sedition. We can say that it is an anti-government and anti-national act. It is not only defamatory words but it can also be in an act or writings in print.
Case of Sedition
The whole matter was related to the protest. As we know that Protest is a fundamental right under Article 19(b) of the Constitution of India and a hallmark of democracy. The petitioner was Mr Suresh Sakthi Murugan and the respondent was Mr A Damodaran (government advocate). All points raised by the Petitioner in the Petition was factual in nature. In the Madras High Court, two-person were charged for Sedition regarding distributing handbills against the State and Centre government. This was done in the 2018 Anti-Sterlite Protest where two persons had assembled and distributed handbills. By seeing such activities of the two people police warned him to not indulge in such activities but they both did not mind it. On Sunday the Madras High Court dismissed the Criminal Case against two persons for the Sedition.
Justice M. Nirmal Kumar deals with a petition seeking quashing of the Criminal cases against M. Vinayagar who was facing trial under Section 294(b), 124A, 353 and 505(1) (b) of India Penal Code. It was argued that it was not a case of Sedition. For the same act, the sanction required under Section 196 of C.R.P.C. In this case, the Petitioner was simply reading the handbill in which it was mentioned that 13 civilians were killed during Anti-Sterlite Protest in 2018. After reading the handbills Petitioner filed a case of sedition. Furthermore, it was observed that no abusive words were used and also it was not mentioned that how the two accused threatens him. Petitioner has filed a petition only based on 13 civilians brutally death when they participated in the Anti-Sterlite Protest.
He did not think about the whole matter that when Sedition has occurred and when not. Only raised an issue based on protest nothing more witnesses were there. In the support of the contention, the Court relied upon the Judgement of Kedarnath Singh vs. State of Bihar and Balwant Singh vs. the State of Punjab. After the whole investigation of the matter, the Court found that there was nothing delivered against the government. So, on these grounds, the Madras High Court dismissed the offence of sedition. The Court also accused the person.