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Sedition Charges

  • 11 Jan 2024
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

Recently, the Punjab & Haryana High Court issued a notice to the Haryana government regarding a revision petition filed against a Sessions Court order framing charges against the petitioner under Section 124A IPC (Sedition). The charges were related to allegations that he used 'filthy language' against India and raised an anti-national slogan.

Key Points

  • Section 124A IPC defines sedition as an offence committed when "any person 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 disaffection towards the government established by law in India".
    • Disaffection includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity. However, comments without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, will not constitute an offence under this section.
    • The Supreme Court in Balwant Singh v. State of Punjab (1995), reiterated that the real intent of the speech must be taken into account before labeling it seditious.
  • It is a Non-Bailable Offence. Punishment under Section 124A ranges from imprisonment up to three years to a life term, to which a fine may be added.
    • A person charged under this law is barred from a government job.
    • They have to live without their passport and must produce themselves in the court at all times as and when required.

Indian Penal Code (IPC)

  • It is the official criminal code of India drafted in 1860 in the wake of the first law commission established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833.
  • In line, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) provides procedures for administering criminal law in India. It was enacted in 1973 and became effective on 1 April 1974.
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