National Affairs

Sedition Law: SC Rejects Centre’s Request To Defer Challenge

Hearing was held in the Supreme Court Zon Monday on the petitions filed against Section 124A of treason. 

While hearing this case, the CJI talked about forming a bench of five judges and also rejected the demand of the Central Government.

Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, had said that the court should decide whether this case should be referred to the Constitution Bench.  

When Attorney General R Vekentarmani had said that a new law is pending, the CJI asked what was said in it. Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal said that this is even worse. 

The CJI agreed that if the law is implemented, it will cover future cases. He said that as far as cases related to 124A are concerned, those cases will continue. For this we will have to form a constitution bench of five judges. 

Along with this, CJI said that this is a matter of decision maintaining constitutionality. If five judges had upheld treason in the Kedarnath case, can a bench of three judges overturn the decision? 

He said that as long as the Kedarnath verdict is in force, the law of treason is valid. 

The CJI said that it is a different matter that the Supreme Court has put an interim stay on the sedition law, but a decision has to be taken on this law. Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam said that whatever decision you take will have an impact on the new law. 

On behalf of the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that do not be hasty. Can’t it wait? He said that the other government had a chance for change but they missed it. This government is in the phase of reform. Whereas Kapil Sibal said that this is some other Drakonian too. 

During the hearing in the Supreme Court, the CJI said that the new law cannot have retrospective effect, hence we will have to decide what will happen to the pending cases. Therefore we cannot test the constitutionality of Section 124A. 

While giving his argument in the court, Kapil Sibal said that the case should be sent to the Constitution bench of seven judges. Tushar Mehta said that this is being seriously considered at the highest level and it has now happened. But the government said that talks should be held with all parties. Let us wait in this regard. This is being reconsidered at the highest level. 

Now it has been reconsidered whether it would not be appropriate to wait till the implementation of the new law. One should wait for the decision of the legislature.

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