An Appeal to the Indian Parliament to Repeal the Sedition Law sign now

An Appeal to the Indian Parliament to Repeal the Sedition Law


A recent Convention organized by Peoples Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) and participated in by other Human Rights organizations heard accounts of widespread and systematic misuse of the sedition law across India. All forms of democratic struggles - from farmers agitations to citizens protesting against state policies - have been criminalized and prosecuted under sedition laws. Consequently, thousands of ordinary citizens have not only suffered violation of fundamental freedoms and liberties but also forced to undergo major personal, emotional and financial hardships due to imprisonment and in the process of seeking legal remedies.

The Convention, therefore, resolved to launch a nation-wide signature campaign to collect at least a million signatures to present it to Parliament demanding the immediate repeal of Sedition Law, i.e., Sec. 124 (A) IPC.

Following is the text of the appeal by Pushkar Raj, PUCL General Secretary


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An Appeal to the Indian Parliament to Repeal the Sedition Law



Colonial era sedition law contained in section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code, makes creating hatred or contempt for or disaffection towards the government established by Law in India, an act of sedition punishable with imprisonment for life, whether such disaffection, hatred or contempt is created by words spoken or written or by signs or visible representation. This section forms part of chapter VI of the Indian penal Code that deals with offences against the State, a passage that deals with serious offences including waging war against the State.

Section 124 A was introduced by the British Government in 1870 when the colonial government felt that such a draconian law was needed to suppress the freedom struggle. Some of the most famous sedition trails of 19th and early 20th centuries were those of Indian nationalist leaders including Tilak, Gandhi and Maulana Azad. All the repressive laws used by the British against the freedom struggle have been retained in Independent India, despite constitutional provisions mandating scrutiny.

Jawaharlal Nehrus views were totally against this provision when he said in 1951, Take again Section 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code. Now so far as I am concerned that particular Section is highly objectionable and obnoxious and it should have no place both for practical and historical reasons, in any body of laws that one might pass. The sooner we get rid of it the better.

In fact, it is the constitutional right of every citizen to expose the misdeeds of the government he/she disapproves of and create disaffection and disloyalty among the people and work for throwing it out of power through democratic means of course without resorting to violence. Hence, the law is incompatible with democracy in which anybody who is dissatisfied with the government has the right to create disaffection against it and seek its removal at the next election. In fact, it is the legitimate right of every citizen to expose the misdeeds of the government it disapproves of, create disaffection and disloyalty among the people and work for throwing it out of power. Disloyalty to a government is different from disloyalty to the State. Of late this provision is being used by the State to suppress the peaceful peoples movements and Human Rights activists. Using sedition law to silence peaceful criticism is the hallmark of an oppressive government. The Indian parliament should immediately repeal this Colonial Era Sedition Law.


Pushkar Raj
General Secretary, PUCL


PUCL National Office:
270-A, Ground Floor, Patpar Ganj, Mayur Vihar-I, Delhi-110091
Ph. 011-22750014, 09810656100
http://www.pucl.org

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Latest Signatures

  • 28 December 2015550. Bharti K
    I support this petition
  • 25 December 2015549. Pallav Keith
    City hoshangabad Country india Organization В В
  • 19 December 2015548. Anasuya G
    I support this petition
  • 29 November 2015547. Giji Johns
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  • 12 November 2015546. Supriya M
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  • 03 November 2015544. Mini P
    I support this petition
  • 01 November 2015543. Joy B
    City Manchester Country UK Sedition law is an obsolete colonial era law (abolished in UK itself) used to stifle dissent. If India is to be truly free from oppression and be a real democracy this law needs abolition.
  • 29 October 2015542. Vineet T
    I support this petition
  • 25 October 2015541. Monika M
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  • 24 October 2015540. Manoj J
    City Bhubaneswar Country India Organization Peoples Watch This is a draconial law needs to repeal
  • 24 October 2015539. Carol S
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  • 22 October 2015538. Jasbir C
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  • 17 October 2015537. Subrata S
    City Kolkata Country India Most vital
  • 03 October 2015536. Sujeet S
    City Ranchi Country India It is the duty of every citizen to expose the government's misdeeds for the betterment of the country and society. This is how a democracy runs. This law was not framed for the democratic India. This law is simply wrong to have
  • 02 October 2015535. Vinay A
    I support this petition
  • 22 September 2015534. Shipra N
    City New Delhi Country India Organization IIT Delhi В
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    City ahmedabad Country india Organization aditi impex ltd signed
  • 20 September 2015531. Nagma S
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  • 07 September 2015529. Caesar R
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  • 30 August 2015528. Philip T
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  • 24 August 2015527. Sujit P
    City Pune Country India This is an archaic law that needs to be thrown out forthwith
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