The former Supreme Court Justice, Justice Deepak Gupta, was recently seen having a discussion on “DEMOCRACY DISENT AND DRACONINAN LAWS- Should UAPA &Sedition have place in our statute books” as one of the Panelist in a Webinar organized by CJAR on Saturday, July 24th,2021. Where while discussing he mentioned that: “The Time has come that section 124(A) of IPC to be held Unconstitutional.”
Further in the discussion the former Justice, by quoting Mahatma Gandhi “Affection cannot be manufactured by law” he mentioned that “the main essence of democracy lies in right to question the government, which mean that one may not agree with other but we can still politely agree to disagree with each other. He further mentioned that the intention with which Sedition laws was implemented during Colonial Period was to suppress the voice of natives against the British Raj and how during the period of 1974, such draconian law was made harsher by converting it into cognizable offence.
He further in his discussion, while mentioning about recent cases like, Disha Ravi case, 21 yr old who arrested by Delhi police for participating in Farmer’s Protest famously known as Tool-Kit case, and about the FIR lodged against senior journalist Vinod Dua, he reiterated that in both of these cases the Judges mentioned about the laws laid down in the case of Kedhar Nath of 1962 where the supreme court gave clear definition that there must be incitement to violation and public disorder to amount to Sedition, while mentioning the obitor dicta of 1962 case he remarked that “Disha Ravi will not be amount to sedition charges” and similar thing happened in the case of Vinod Dua, where Justice U.U Lalit quashed the complaints against senior journalist which was filed over his critical remarks against government .
Justice Further went on expressing his opinion over the issue and stated that “the only reason section 124A was held constitutional in Kedar Nath judgment of 1962 was by putting in straightjacket of incitement to violence.” And remarked that there is no case for retaining it in country and this law should be shown doors as soon as possible.