Supreme Court judgment on Sedition Law

What is the News?

The Supreme Court in the Rajat Sharma v. The Union of India Case ruled in favour of Farooq Abdullah. The court in its ruling said that disagreeing with the views and policies of the government will not attract the offence of sedition.

What was the case?

  • A petition was filed in the Supreme Court against Farooq Abdullah, Former Chief Minister of J&K. It alleged that Farooq Abdullah made a seditious statement by saying that to restore Article 370, he would take help from China.
  • Hence, the petition asked the court to terminate the Lok Sabha membership of Farooq Abdullah and book him for sedition under Section 124A of IPC.

What were the observations made by the Court?

  • The court said that the expression of a view that is different from a decision taken by the Central Government itself cannot be said to be seditious.
  • The court dismissed the petition. It further said that it was a clear case of publicity interest litigation by petitioners to get their names in the Press.
  • The court also imposed a fine of ₹50,000 on the petitioner to be deposited with the Supreme Court Advocates Welfare Fund in four weeks.

Significance of this judgment:

  • This judgment assumes significance in the recent period when the sedition law is invoked by police against activists very frequently. People expressing their opinion or making statements on social networking sites against the government are also facing charges under sedition law.

Source: The Hindu

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