Supreme Court stays on sedition law
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The Supreme Court suspended pending criminal trials and court proceedings under Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code and allowed the British-era law to be reconsidered.
The Supreme Court also restrained the Centre and the states from filing FRs, continuing investigations or taking punitive action under Section 124A.
About Sedition Law
Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code provides for the punishment of sedition.
The IPC was enacted in 1860, under the British Raj.
The then British government in India feared that religious preachers from the Indian subcontinent would wage war against the government.
The need for such a law was felt after the successful suppression of the Wahhabi movement by the British.
This section was used by the British to suppress activists in favour of national independence, including Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi, both of whom were found guilty and imprisoned.
Sedition as a cognizable offence
It was made a cognizable offence for the first time in history in India during the tenure of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1973.
A cognizable offence means arrest without a warrant.
Two High Courts of India found it unconstitutional after independence, as it violates freedom of speech and expression.
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