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CHAPTER-1

INTRODUCTION

Sedition is not mentioned as one of the ground on which restriction on the


freedom of speech and expression may be imposed. The word Sedition has been a word
of varying import in English Law, 150 years ago when holding a meeting or taking out a
procession was considered Sedition. The term of Sedition is derived from the Latin word
Sedition which in roman times meant an Insurrectionary Separation (Political or Military)
Dissension, civil Discord, Insurrection, Mutiny. It needs to be adverted that the word
‘Sedition’ does not turn up anywhere in the Indian constitution and if an offence against
the state as enumerated in the Indian Penal Code, in which Article 19 of the constitution
holds great relevance. The contemporary discernment of Sedition in India encompasses
all those practices, whether by words, deed, or writing that is reckoned to disturb the
tranquillity of the State and lead ignorant person to debase the Government. Section 124-
A of the Indian Penal Code defines as follows that ‘whoever 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 excite or attempt to excite disaffection towards the
Government established by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to
which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years to
which fine may be added or with fine. 1 Today the law of Sedition in India has assumed
controversial importance largely on account of change in the body politic and also
because of the constitutional provision of freedom of Speech guaranteed as fundamental
right. The law of Sedition as continued in Section 124-A I.P.C was also embodied in
some other statutes2 however the general statement of Law was similar in all the
provisions and could be gathered from Section 124-A I.P.C. The legislative History of
this section of the Indian Penal Code dealing with Section of Interest. The draft prepared
by the Indian law commissioners in 1837 contained a provision on the topic and it was
proposed to include it in the Indian Penal Code.

1
Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code.
2
E.G. Press Emergency Powers act, 1931, Defence of India Rules, 34.

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It is indispensable for the operation of the democratic system and for self-
development and setting up a homogenous egalitarian society. Democracy is extolled
because of the freedom of speech and expression present in it. This freedom comes with
the freedom to critique, to critique government policies, Government laws and
administration. As Thomas I. Emerson say that “opposition serves a vital social function
in offsetting or ameliorating the normal process of bureaucratic decay’. It shows that
requirement of criticism in a democracy. If freedom is the depiction of democracy,
informed electorate is its element of survival. A well informed voter is the foundation of
democratic structure. The state cannot prevent open discussion and open expression
however hateful to its policies, or criticism of the incapacity of the Government. Merely
exciting ‘disaffection or bad feelings towards the government’ is therefore no ground for
restricting the freedom of speech and expression, under Article 19(2). It belief is
necessary for the continuity of the democracy, Criticism is must for the avoiding such
democracy not to turn cripple. An old axiom is not to follow blindly. We all live in a
democratic country, and we all have the right to speech and right to choose. If we have
selected the government then we should also have the right to comment on that
Government. This is the essence of the democracy. If the people the electors would not
be having the right to criticise their own representative then there will be no difference
left, whatsoever, between a democracy and a monarchy. Ideally there should be no law
for the curtailment of freedom of Speech and Expression, but for the sole reason that
there cannot be any such thing as absolute or uncontrolled liberty wholly free from
restrain for that would lead to anarchy or disorder, we have restriction over freedoms But
these restrictions shall be reasonable. In our Constitution we have been granted right to
freedom right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1) (a), and we also
reasonable restriction under Article 19(2). Section124-A is a substantive provision, which
is a reflection of the reasonable restriction enumerated in the Constitution. But the
restrictive clauses in clause (2)-(6) are exhaustive and are to be strictly constructed.
Though in the Case of Kedar Nath v. State of Bihar, the Supreme Court have saved
Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code from Unconstitutionality by giving it a narrow
construction following the view of the federal court in Niharendu v. king emperor and
rejecting the interpretation given to it by the privy council in King Emperor v. Sadashiv.

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But the question remains the same. If we live in a free democratic country, then why
should we have such anti- democratic laws on the first place? The cases of Dr. Binayak
Sen and Aseem Trivedi have once again initiated the debate over this draconian law.

(1.1) SEDITION IN GENERAL :


When independent India inherited the mechanisms of British censorship, it “Preserved
sustained and expanded” the coloniser’s restrictive policies, “assiduously making changes
as the common law of the day changed.” India did so “Partly because it was convenient
and partly because successive socialist regimes needed to improve on the imperial
example in order to cloak their own infirmities.” No Part of the Indian Penal Code (I.P.C)
illustrates this repurposing of British censorship better than Section 124-A of the Indian
Penal Code Which addressed Sedition.

Introduced by the British in 1870, the Provision’s phrasing has repeatedly


prompted highly restrictive interpretations of what can be said in the Public sphere. In
1897 at the first of three famous sedition trials of the Kesari newspaper editor Bal Ganga
Dhar Tilak justice James Strachey held that reports of the hardship suffered by his
Majesty’s subjects during a period of famine and plague could amount to an “incitement
to murder” and disloyalty to the crown. Strachey found that a mere attempt to create ill-
will was sufficient grounds for Sedition- regardless of the strength to “disaffection”
produced, or indeed, whether any had been produced at all. He expanded the already
broad concept of “disaffection’ to include “hatred”, “enmity”, “dislike”, “hostility”,
“contempt” and other aversions.

A dozen years after Tilak’s second trial, Gandhi himself faced Sedition charges,
alongside the proprietor of young Indian journal. Presciently he argued: “Affection
cannot be manufactured or regulated by the law. If one has no affection for a person, one
should be free to give the fullest expression to his disaffection, so long as he does not
contemplate, promote or incite to violence.” Gandhi proudly inserted himself into the
tradition of the Indian patriots convicted for Sedition noting that: “My experiences of
political cases in India lead me to the conclusion that in nine out of every ten the
condemned men were totally innocent. Their crime consisted in the love of their

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country.” In 1942 a federal court decision raised the threshold for Sedition to speech that
was not only violent in itself but also attained a level that “must either incite to disorder
or must be such as to satisfy reasonable men that is the intention or tendency.”
Legislative reforms seemed imminent but five years later the privy council reverted to
Strachey’s standards in King Emperor v. Sadashiv Narayan Bhalerao. Quoting an earlier
case, Justice Thankerton held that Section 124-A phrasing “plainly as possible makes the
exciting or attempting to induce to any course of action such as rebellion or forcible
resistance, the test of guilt. Twenty years later a similar reversion occurred in Kedar Nath
v. State of Bihar when the Supreme Court overturned a decision of the High Court of
Allahabad that raised concerns that the provisions restrictions on free speech were
“capable of striking at the very root of the constitution. Remarking on the “Striking
similarities” between Tilak’s challenges to the moral authority of the state and argument
raised by “contemporary targets” like Arundhati Roy that Sedition is clearly being used
to target specific people who choose to express dissent against the policies and activists,
political activists, artists and public intellectuals despite a supreme court ruling narrowing
its application.

MEANING OF SEDITION :
Sedition is an offence which is against the state as enumerated in the Indian Penal
Code. The expression ‘disaffection’ includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity. To
Constitute an offence under Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code it is not necessary
that one should excite or attempt to excite mutiny or rebellion or any kind of actual
disturbance, it would be sufficient that one tries to excite feelings of Hatred or Contempt
towards the government. The essence of the offence of Sedition is incitement to violence
mere abusive words are not enough and that ‘Public disorder or the reasonable
anticipation or likelihood of Public disorder is the gist of the offence’.3 In Kedar Nath v.
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State of Bihar the Supreme Court upheld the validity constitutional validity of the
Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code. It was held that only acts which constitute
incitement to violence or disorder would be punishable under this section and acts not

3
Niharendu v. Emperor (1942) F.C.R.38
4
A.I.R 1962 S C 955.

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having such tendency are not punishable. Therefore Section 124-A of the Indian Penal
Code does not violate Article 19(1) (a) of the constitution of India. Both successful and
unsuccessful attempts to excite disaffection were placed on the same footing. So even if
person had only tried to excite the feelings he could be convicted. Whether any
disturbance or outbreak was actually caused by such attempt was absolutely immaterial. 5
Other essential ingredients of the offence of Sedition are as followings:
(1) To urge people to rise against the Government, or not to obey the lawful authority
of the Government or to subvert or resist the authority amounts to ‘disaffection’.
If a person incited the people to attain ‘Swaraj’ it was held that ‘Swaraj’ did not
necessarily mean exclusion of the existing Government but its ordinary
acceptance was home rule under the Government. Therefore it did not amount to
Sedition.
(2) Disaffection may be excited in a Number of ways Writings of any kind, poem,
drama, story, novel, may be used for Sedition. But the seditious writings if it
remains in the hands of the author or unpublished does not constitute Sedition
because publication of some kind is necessary. However this publication may be
made in any manner, as for instances, by post. It can even take from of woodcut
or engraving of any kind.
(3) Not only the author of Seditious matter but also whosoever uses in any way words
or printed matter for the purposes of exciting feelings of disaffection is libel. Thus
the printer the publisher the editor or the owner of the press of a seditious
Publication is also libel like the author unless he proves that he was absent and
was not aware of the contents of the paper. However it is not defence to show that
the seditious Articles are merely copied from foreign newspaper as items of New
Section Re- publication of a seditious Article used as an exhibit in a case of
Sedition is not justifiable. Similarly an editor is libel for unsigned seditious letters
appearing in Newspapers
(4) In considering the intention of the accused the time, the place, the circumstances
and the occasion of publication, all are important. It is necessary to take into

5
Queen Empress v. Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak (1897) 22 BOM 112.

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consideration the state of the country and of the public mind at the date of
publication.
As per the Indian law, Sedition is any form of speech action, writing that incites hatred
against the established under and harm the systematic peace of the country. A seditious
word written against the ruling government and authority is called ‘Sedition libel’. Indian
Constitution chapter 4th deal with offence against the state and Sedition charges under
Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code. The Punishment includes imprisonment for life
and added fines Imprisonment can be for life or for three years based on the nature of
Seditious charges. According to the Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution every
citizen have the right to freedom of speech and expression. There is restriction which is
imposed by the Constitution in the interest of public order and within the limit of
permissible legislative interference with the fundamental right. Many Indians in the past
have been charged under act. Prominent freedom fighters charged with Sedition law
includes Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi. Section 124-A of the Indian Penal
Code was introduced by the British colonial government in 1870 when it felt the need for
a specific Section to deal with the offence.

MEANING OF THE WORDS:


DISAFFECTION:
Disaffection means a feeling contrary to affection, in other words dislike or
hatred. It is question of extreme difficulty to define what is intended by the disaffection in
this Section. In one sense anything said against Government may amount to exciting
disaffection. Literally the terms means detaching affection or want of affection. In this
sense apparently the feeling is not necessarily a hostile feeling. But this is not the sense
intended to be conveyed by the word under Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code. It
does not here presume mean merely detaching the feeling of affection from the
Government. For it is quite possible to be not well affected towards a Government
without being actually hostile against it. It is quite conceivable to hold an attitude of
perfect indifference towards and as regards the merits or demerits of the Government
measures and administrative actions. It is not credible that exciting a feeling of
indifference without creating actual hostility against the Government could ever be

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intended to be punishable as Sedition. If a person uses either spoken or written words
calculated to create in the minds of the persons, to whom they are addressed a disposition
not to obey the lawful authority of the Government or to subvert or resist the authority if
and when occasion should arise and if he does so with the intention of creating such a
disposition in his hearers or readers he will be guilty of the offence of attempting to
excite disaffection within the meaning of this Section though no disturbance is brought
about by his words or any feeling of disaffection. It is sufficient for the purposes of this
Section that the words used are calculated to excite feelings of ill-will against the
Government.6 In Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code it is difficult of finding what
speech or representation really amount to exciting disaffection. In one sense every
adverse criticism of the Government measure and actions would fall within it. But this is
wholly undesirable even in the self interest of a government. In other hand it is according
to the justice Person the word disaffection cannot be construed to mean the absence or the
contrary of affection or love that is to say dislike or hatred but must be taken to employed
in its special sense as signify political alienation or discontent that is to say a feeling of
disloyalty to the Government or existing power which tends to a disposition not to obey
but to resist and attempts to subvert the Government or power. Disaffection is a phrase
that is never used with regard to individuals we never speak of a man being disaffected
against another individual. It is only in regard to the government that we use the term
disaffection and therefore it is intended to express a feeling which can only exist between
the rulers and ruled. Feelings of personal affection in such a connection are not
demanded, but only such a connection are not demanded, but only such feelings as the
relation of the subject to the government necessarily implies. That which is essential
implied for the relation between the ruler and the ruled is the recognition on the part of
the ruled of the Government as a Government. For disaffection it is necessary that the
individual should be the object of hatred. The words 'disaffection' in Section 124-A of the
Indian Penal Code is a positive political distemper a feeling of aversion akin to disloyalty
a defiant insubordinate of authority or secretly seeking to alienate the people and thereby

6
Queen Empress v. Jogendera 19 CAL 35.

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weaken the bond of allegiance, it is not a mere absence or negation of love or goodwill. 7
The gist of the offence of Sedition is incitement to violence, mere abusive words are not
enough. The acts or words complained of must incite public disorder or must cause
reasonable anticipation or likelihood of public disorder in order to constitute disaffection.
The intention of the speaker writer or publisher may be inferred from the particular
speech, Article or letter. The intention is gathered from the Article. The requisite
intention cannot be attributed to a person if he was not aware of the contents of the
seditious publication. Feeling of hatred, contempt or disaffection would be excited
towards the Government.

GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHED BY LAW:


The expression Government established by law in British India mean British rule
and its representative or such the existing political system as distinguished from any
particular set of administrator. Government and form of Government both are different
things. To fight against the principle or doctrine is not the same thing as to fight against a
Government established by law. 8 The Government established by law in British India
includes the executive power in action and does not mean merely the Constitutional
framework. It includes the local Government as well as the central government of India.9
A Government in connection with the offence of Sedition denotes the person or persons
authorized by law to administer executive Government in the state. The expression
Government established by law means ruling authority and its representatives as such the
existing political system as distinguished from any particular set of administrators10 The
Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code come under the offence should be directly
against the Government established by law. Speech urging strike directed against mill
owners and not Government does not contravene Section 124-A of the Indian Penal
Code.11 Exhortation to the people not to pay land revenue and discouraging recruiting
may be punishable under some other statue but not under Section 124-A of the Indian
Penal Code. An assertion that the Government has deliberately set community against

7
Kedar Nath Singh State of U.P v. State of Bihar A.I.R 1962 SC 955.
8
Kamal Krishna v. Emperor A.I.R 1935 CAL 636.
9
Kshiteesh Chandra Ray chaudhari (1932) 59 CAL 1197.
10
Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak (1897) 22 BOM 112, 135.
11
Arjuna Arora v. Emperor A.I.R 1937 ALL 295:38 CRLJ 662: 168 IC 947.

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community is calculated to incite feelings of hatred and contempt and does not amount to
Sedition. Sedition includes nothing except attacks on the sovereign or on the established
Government, even an attack on the administration of justice would not fall under Section
124-A of the Indian Penal Code. Section 17 of the Indian Penal Code defines
Government as denoting the Central Government or the State Government established by
law has to be understood as being distinct from the Government formed by a particular
rulling party or the bureaucracy running the Government. Criticism of a particular
Government or campaigning to bring down a particular Government by a particular
ruling party will not amount to exciting disaffection towards the Government established
by law.

ROLE OF INTENTION IN SEDITION:


Intention is an essential part to the offence under Section 124-A of the Indian
Penal Code. The essences of the crime of Sedition consist in the intention with which the
language is used. The intention must be judged according to the language itself. When a
man is charged in respect of anything he has written or said, the meaning of what his
language would be understood to mean by the people to whom it was addressed. In
determining the question we must look at the speech as a whole and not to pay undue
regard to any particular sentence or phrase, and looking at the speech as a whole we have
together from the language used what the intention of the speaker was. It was not open to
the speaker to say that he did not intend his language to bear the meaning which it
naturally does bear. In Sedition it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove the
intention directly by evidence which in most cases would be impracticable. According to
law the language and conduct of the accused shows that whether the intention is good or
bad. It will be then for prosecution to show that his words were harmless and his motives
innocent. When certain speech forms part of a series of speeches or lectures on one topic
delivered within a short period of time, any of such speeches or lectures is admissible
under Section 14. As evidence of the intention of the speaker in respect of the speech
which forms part of the prosecution in present case and a period of six months cannot be
described as long for this purpose. An accused prosecuted for an offence under Section
124-A of the Indian Penal Code can be convicted on the basis of the short abstracts taken
down from his speech, if the portion taken down is seditious character.

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BY SIGNS OR VISIBLE REPRESENTATION:
According to Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code the manner in which
seditious activities can be carried out is by words, either spoken or written or by signs or
by visible representation or otherwise term words either spoken or written or by sign
present no difficulty in understanding . Writing may be in the form of drama, story, and
novel essay. The offence under this Section may be committed by means of writing or
print or pictures. The exhibition of flags is a mode of using signs or visible
representation. According to law commissioners as per Article 5 Section 3 of the chapter
2nd of the digest of the English criminal law commissioners, public speaking is specified
together with the exhibiting of flags, inscription etc. Sedition does not necessarily consist
of written matter: it may be evidenced by a wood -cut or engraving of any kind.

EXPLANATION-1
The Expression ‘disaffection’ includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity.
Disaffection means anything which is contrary to affection. It is very much nearer to
‘Hatred or Dislike’. To urge people to rise against the Government is tantamount to
trying to excite feelings of disloyalty in their minds Feelings of ill-will, Hostility, feelings
of dislike amounting to enmity and anything of a similar class or character which can be
summarized under the Expression ‘Disloyalty and Enmity’.

EXPLANATION- 2
Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a
view to obtain their alteration by lawful means Without exciting or attempting to excite
hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under the Section 124-A of
the Indian Penal Code. In other words disloyalty to Government established by law is not
the same thing as commenting in strong terms upon measure or acts of Government or its
agencies so to ameliorate the conditions of the people or to secure cancellation or
alteration of those feelings of enmity and disloyalty which imply excitement to public
disorder or use of violence.

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EXPLANATION -3
Comments expressing disapprobation of the Administrative or other action of
Government, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, Contempt or disaffection,
do not constitute an offence under this Section. Disapprobation means disapproval. One
may disapprove of man’s sentiments or actions and yet he may like him.
Sedition is thus conceptually linked to Treason12 in 1351, the English statue of
Treason defined many types of offences against the king as treasonable, including
compassing or imagining the death of the king, Levying war against the king in his realm
and adhering to the king’s enemies .The treason offences were increasingly used to
prosecute people who spoke or wrote words publicly in opposition to the king. In 1477
the court held that to prognosticate (predict) the king’s death using magic was treason. In
tender times the courts interpreted the 1351 act to include constructive levying of near
against the king. 13In the Reign of Henry 8, Treason was greatly expanded, and Parliament
attained (convicted) for treason a holy woman who prophesied against the king’s
marriage to Annye Balyen and predicted he would soon die. We have come across the
word Sedition for umpteen times and it is of utmost importance to let people get well
acquainted with the basics of Sedition. It needs to be adverted that word Sedition does not
turn up anywhere in the constitution and is an offence against the state as enumerated in
the I.P.C. In which Article 19 of the Indian constitution hold great relevance. The
contemporary discernment of Sedition in India encompasses all those practices, whether
by word, deed, or writing that is reckoned to disturb the tranquillity of the state lead
ignorant person to debase the Government. Chapter 6 of Indian Penal Code I.P.C deals
with offences against the state. In law of Sedition is overt conduct, such as Speech and
organization that is deemed by the legal authority to tend towards insurrection against the
established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of
discontent or resistance to lawful authority, Sedition may include any commotion, though
not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws Seditious words in writing are
seditious libel. A Seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of Sedition.

12
Sir James F Stephen “History of the criminal law of England” (London 1883) vol.2, Chapter. 24. And
Australian Law Reform Commission Review of Sedition Laws Issues Paper 30, (Sydney, 2006),29.
13
Sir John Baker Oxford History of the Laws of England Vol.6, 587.

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Typically, Sedition is considered a subversive act, and the overt acts that may be
prosecutable under Sedition laws vary from one legal code to another. Where the history
of these legal codes has been traced, there is also a record of the change in the definition
of the elements constituting Sedition at certain points in history. This overview has
served to develop a sociological definition of Sedition as well, within the study of state
prosecution. The difference between Sedition and treason consist primarily in the
subjective ultimate object of the violation of the public peace. Sedition does not consist
of levying war against a Government or of adhering to its enemies, do giving enemies
comfort. Nor does not consist in most representative democracies of peaceful protest
against a Government nor of attempting to change the Government by democratic means
(Such as direct democracy or Constitutional convention).
Sedition is the string up of rebellion against the Government in power. Treason is
the violation of allegiance to one sovereign or state, giving aid to Enemies, or levying
war against one State. Sedition is encouraging one fellow citizen to rebel against their
State, whereas treason is actually betraying one country by aiding and abetting another
state. Sedition laws somewhat equate to Terrorism and Public order laws Sedition is not
mentioned as one of the ground on which restriction on the freedom of speech and
expression may be imposed. The word Sedition has been a word of varying import in the
English law. 150 years ago when holding a meeting or talking out a procession was
considered Sedition. Even holding an opinion which will bring ill will towards the
Government was treated as Sedition.

(1.2) HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:


In order to understand a crime in a very real sense, one should attempt to finds its
origin and then to study the political thinking underlying its inception into the body of
criminal law. As Sir James Stephen States in his history the English criminal law
commission adopted his Articles relating to seditious offences “Almost verbatim”.
Stephen traced the first application of the offence of seditious conspiracy to the trial of
redhead yorke in 1795. Several prosecutions for seditious conspiracy followed shortly
thereafter. One of them the O’ Connell decision held that every sort of attempt by violent
language to affect “Any public object of an evil charter” was a seditious conspiracy.

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Needless to say “No precise or complete definition has ever been given of objects which
are to be regarded as Evil”. But criticism rebellion or incitement against the Government
or the monarch was not something which started in 18th century. It uses to happen prior to
that too. Hence this case can’t be called as the origin.
To find out the origin of the requisite of all three offences one must go beyond the
French revolution period. The important precedent reflecting them appears to be De
Libellis Famosis what came to be called Sedition in sixteenth centaury England was
mostly comprehended under the heading of treasonable words in the fifteenth century or
under the doctrine of the Scandalum Magnatum if it involved peers or high crown
officials? Although the court did previously treat Sedition did not appear as a separate
legal crime until 1606. It appears in review that three major principles of the
contemporary seditious offences can be found in 1606 star chamber decision of De
Libellis Famosis In the case of De Libellis Famosis the accused published poems making
fun of the Archbishops of Canterbury. 14 As Sir James Stephen have stated afterwards in
his book “Digest of Criminal Law” that “A seditious intention is an intention to bring into
hatred or contempt, or to excite disaffection against the person of his majesty, his heirs or
successors, or the Government and Constitution of the United kingdom, as by law
established, or either house of Parliament, or the administration of justice or to excite his
majesty’s subjects to attempt otherwise than by lawful means, the alteration of any matter
in church or State by law established or to incite any person to commit any crime in
disturbance of the peace, or to raise discontent or disaffection among his majesty
subjects, or to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of such
subjects15 It is quite clear that the intention behind the incorporation of this crime was to
provide a safeguard to the parliament monarchy and the church from insurgency.
Until 1857 things were fine. In 1857 there was a lot of disloyalty. As a result the
period between 1860 and 1870 witnessed hectic activity on the legal front. The Indian
Penal Code put together in 1861. It was designed to ensure the suppression of Natives but
the British felt that something was missing. Hence in 1870 they introduced Section 124-
A. A popularly known as the Sedition law, makes it a crime to “promote through word or

14
www.Uniassignment.com/essay/the pre-text-of origin-Law-constitutional-administrative-essay.
15
Sakal paper (P) ltd. v. union of India A.I.R 1962 S.C 305 (315)4

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deed, disaffection against the Government”. This law Legislate affection. It means that if
you do not love the government, you could go jail. Initially Section 124-A was used
against newspaper who were not loving the Government sufficiently. Subsequently it was
used against Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak and Mohan Lal Gandhi. Tilak was found of guilty in
1916, despite a strong defence by Mohammad Ali Jinnah. During the trial Jinnah asked a
question which has puzzled many. What is this “disaffection”, he asked, “absence of
affection”. Gandhi was arrested a few years later. His opinion on Sedition was very clear.
He called it “the prince among the political Sections of the Indian Penal Code designed to
suppress the liberty of the citizen”.
Now since we now the real purpose of the law, hence we can also ascertain the
jurisprudence involve in it. Earlier crown and churches were the governing authorities the
law of Sedition as provided for in Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code, has indeed
had an extraordinary history. This highly Controversial Sections did not form a part of
the Indian Penal Code when it was enacted in 1860, although it was proposed to be
included by the draft prepared by the Indian law commissioner in 1837. It is said that the
Section 124-A was originally enumerated under Section 113 of Macaulay’s draft Penal
Code of 1837-39, but it was only in 1870 that the provision for Sedition was inserted by
the Indian Penal Code (amendment) act. The law of Sedition was proposed in India in
1870 in riposte to increasing Wahabi activities between 1863 and 1870. It was modified
in 1898; the frame work of this Section was taken from several sources The treason
felony act (1848 Britain) the common law of seditious libel (Libel defamation in
Permanent form) and English law pertaining to seditious words According to it whoever
has cognition about the India’s freedom struggle would be well acquainted of the British
mistreatment of the law associated with Sedition. It is unsuitable to ponder over that the
British officials tried to crush the Indian freedom struggle with an iron hand and in
retaliation to the protest against them some of the active instrumentalists of Indian
freedom struggle were charged with Sedition. The first in a sequence of Sedition Cases
against editors of National Newspaper was the trial of Jogindera Chandra Bose in 1891,
followed with the trial of Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak he was tried under the law of Sedition.
An another famous case related to Sedition is trial of Mahatma Gandhi who was an
advocate of passive resistance and always abstained himself and his followers from

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adopting the violent methods was tried in 1922 along with Shankar Lal Banker the owner
of young India for the Articles published in the magazine.
Tracing down the history, the most famous use of Section 124-A of the Indian
Penal Code was against the famous freedom fighters, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, in 1897. 16 He
was convicted under the Sedition law for making a statement regarding the killing of
Deccan chieftain Afzal Khan by the Maratha Warrior-King Shivaji. Consequently his
statement incited the murder of two British officers Similarly Mahatma Gandhi in 1922
was convicted under the same law in famous great Ahmadabad trial, in which Gandhi
was charged with Sedition for “Spreading and inciting disaffection” against the British
ruled Government.17 The main motive behind recalling all these past events is to put to
the forefront that Section 124-A mainly intended to suppress and repress all those who
pointed out the exploitative and illegitimate colonial Administration of Government. This
certainty is not important in a democratic form of government which exists for the
welfare of its people; such a law if interpreted in the strict sense would limit the
fundamental rights of the citizen to express its views for or against the government. In
1946 a mention regarding the Sedition was made in the Bhagwati Charan Shukla Case 18
by a judge in the Nagpur bench whereby it was held that; “it is not Sedition merely to
criticize Government however bitterly or forcibly that may be done, or to seek its
overthrow by Constitutional means in order that another Government, equally
Constitutional, may be substituted in its place in a constitutional way. It becomes
Sedition only when the intention or the attempt is to induce people to cease to obey the
law and to cease to uphold lawful authorities”
This view brought out in the Case, Bhagwati Charan Shukla v. Provincial
government in 1946, was again reiterated in by the Supreme Court in the landmark Case
Kedar Nath Case A.I.R 1962 SC 955 whereby the chief justice B.P Sinha said that the
“Comments however strongly worded Expressing, disapprobation of the actions of the
Government without exciting those feelings which generate the inclination to cause
public disorder by acts of violence, would not be penal. In other words, disloyalty to

16
Queen Empress v. Bal GangadharTilak (1897) I.L.R 22 BOM. 112, 151.
17
Trail of Mahatma Gandhi -1922.
18
Bhagwati Charan Shukla v. Provincial Government, Central Provinces (1946) NAG.865.

15
government established by law is not the same thing as commenting in strong terms upon
the measure or acts of government or its agencies so as to ameliorate the condition of the
people”.

PUBLIC UNION CIVIL LIBERTIES (PUCL) ELOBERTAED ON HISTORY OF


SEDITION LAW:
General Secretary Pushkar Raj elaborated on the background of the idea of a
convention on the law of Sedition. He said that that a law’s purpose is to make life easier
for individuals. It has a social relevance. A law should create a social frame work for
individual freedoms to be realised. The state is only an institution through which law
follows: it cannot use law to perpetuate itself. The law on Sedition serves the state and
not the community. It has become the slave of the state turning against society and
therefore it poses serious problems for the functioning of democracy in our country.
History is witness that some of the very prominent people have been victims of this Law.
Socrates, Voltaire, Mandela, Gandhi have all been victimized under it. The purpose of a
prosecution under the said law is that one should be silent and not ask questions even
thought injustice is rampant. In the context of India as a society we have never been
given a chance to flourish as promised in the Constitution of late things have become
worse. It is our fundamental right to feel, think and express under the constitution, but
citizens are being punished for painting a picture or writing a book or an Article. Ashish
Nandi was booked under Sedition for writing an Article. Quoting the Public Union
democratic rights (PUDR) report he referred to Cases from Uttrakhand where nine people
were charged with Sedition and spent one to six years in jail after been denied Bail. Out
of these eight were landless Dalit Labourers. In Haryana five successive president of
BKU (Bhartiya kissan union) struggling for ‘Bijli, Sadak, Beej aur Vikas’ were booked
under the Law. The system uses Sedition laws to bend citizen who act and think
differently from the state.

(1.3) SEDITION IN INDIA:


The offence of Sedition in India would only be complete if the words spoken or
written tend to incite people to violence or public disorder with the intention to take

16
violent methods to overthrow the Government.19 In India the courts adopt the liberal
interpretation of the crime of Sedition as established by English common law. Thus the
liberal attitude of the Indian courts can be said to be reasonable one as it balances the
exigent demands of the state with the Civil rights of the individual. Most of the charges
for Sedition are dismissed. 20 However there have been complaints that the Sedition laws
in India have been used as a tool to suppress free speech. State agencies like the police
have been used as a tool to suppress free speech and they arrested those people who
champion the rights of the lower caste. The police have abused the laws by using them to
prohibit peaceful meetings and protest organized by the Dalit Panther of India. 21Sedition
is a political offence and thus politically motivated. The law of Sedition in India has
assumed controversial importance largely on account of change in the Politic and also
because of the Constitutional provision of freedom of speech guaranteed as a
fundamental right. The Law of Sedition as contained in Section 124-A of the Indian
Penal Code was also embodied in some other statutes22Sedition 'inherited its definition
from the original phrases of the 19th century jurist as an intention to bring into hatred or
contempt or excite disaffection against the person of, her majesty, her heirs and
possessors, or the Government established by law, or the either house of Parliament or
the Administration of justice, or to promote feelings of ill will and hostility between
different classes of subjects Sedition often includes subversion of a Constitution and
incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any
commotion, through not aimed at direct and violence against the Seditious words in
writing are seditious libel. Sedition is one who engages in or promotes the interest of
Sedition. Typically Sedition is considered a subversive act and that may be prosecutable
under Sedition laws vary from one legal code to another. The draft of Indian Penal Code
related to Sedition was prepared by the Indian law Commission in 1837. The difference
between Sedition and Treason consist primarily in the subjective ultimate object of the
violation to the public peace. Sedition does not consist of levying war against a

19
KedarNath v. State of Bihar 1962 A.I.R SC 955.
20
Gujarat High court in Manubai V. Gujarat (1971) 12 Gujarat I.L.R.
21
Dalit Panther of India (DPI) is Non Violent Awareness Rising Group Concentrating Primarily on Women
Issues and Land Claims of the Castes Peoples in India.
22
E.G Press Emergency Powers Act 1931; Defence of India Rules, 34.

17
Government or of adhering to its enemies, giving enemy's aid, and giving enemies
comfort. Nor does it consist in most representative democracies, of peaceful protest
against a Government, nor of attempting to change the government by democratic means
(such as direct democracy or Constitutional convention). Sedition is the string up
rebellion against the Government in power. Treason is the violation of allegiance to one's
sovereign or State, giving aid to enemies, or levying war against one's state. Sedition is
encouraging one's State to rebel against their State, whereas treason is actually betraying
one's country by aiding and abetting another State. Sedition laws somewhat equate to
terrorism and Public order laws obviously the definition existed at a time in England that
the Government resisted all attempts at opposing it. There is no doubt that the above idea
has relationship with the concept of the divine rights of kings In recent times Sedition has
been described as being quasi political in nature, in that it is designed to ensure stability
and orderly Government. On one side Constitution give us the full freedom to Speech and
Expression but on other side it restrict the freedom of Speech and Expression through the
misuse of Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code in the name of National Security. The
perpetual problem is it seems to rise is that of striking a balance between individual
freedom of expression and the Security of the state. Consequently there seems to be little
or no activity that may fall within the ambit of the definition provided it has the tendency
of causing disaffection for the Government. Every legitimate Government in existence
has a law against Sedition. It is a basic principle of the survival of the Government that
does not allow it to be usurped. In India the Courts have chosen to adopt the liberal
interpretation of the Crime of Sedition as established by English common law. So the
liberal attitude of the Indian courts can be said to be the reasonable one as it balances the
exigent demands of the state with the Civil rights of the individual. Because of the liberal
interpretation of the courts most of the charges for Sedition are dismissed. Generally in
India the law of Sedition have been used as a tool to suppress free speech. The police
have abused the laws by using them to prohibit peaceful meetings In India it is a matter
of utter shame that even today how we clutch to our colonial past and their discriminatory
laws which were crafted to boot lick a select few who ran the Government. In many other
Countries the law of Sedition has no place or in other words it is demolished. When
United Kingdom abolished Sedition laws in 2010, Sedition became a big issue in India

18
the same year as noted writer Arundhati Roy amongst others were sought to be charged
with Sedition. She was advocating independence for the disputed Kashmir region. The
term of the Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code are so wide that much that may
generally be regarded as justifiable speech would come within its term. 23 The offence
owes its gravity to the fact that it is calculated to Foster and promote popular discontent,
and that such discontent leads to insurrection and revolution. At the same time no
Government can safely place itself beyond criticism. Such restrictive legislation would
defeat the very object it was intended to serve. Consequently the legislature recognizes
that of the public to criticize its acts and measure and such criticism may be strong but
not malignant nor should it be made a theme for exciting popular discontent against the
Government.24 When the offence is committed by means of writings, or print or picture it
is termed seditious libel. The offence is a misdemeanour indictable at common law. In the
Case of a seditious libel it is doubtful whether at common law the offence is complete
when the libel is composed or whether it must be shown that it was also punished
according to the authorities The first and most fundamental duty of every Government is
the preservation of order, since order is the condition precedent to all civilization and the
advance of Human Happiness. The duty has no doubt been sometimes performed in such
a way as to make the remedy worse than the disease. In other words it also the
fundamental duty of every State to maintain public peace and tranquillity in the State.

DEFENCES:
Following are the defences available to a person charged with the offence of Sedition to
get exemption from the criminal liability:
(a) That he did not speak or write the words or make the sign or representation, or did
not do any other act in question; or
(b) That he did not thereby bring or attempt to bring into hatred or contempt or excite
or Attempt to excite disaffection,
(c) Such disaffection was not against the Government.

23
Parmanand v. Emperor A.I.R 1941 ALL 156 page no 157 42 CRLJ 463 1941 ALJ 26.
24
Man Mohan Lal I.L.R 38 CAL 253, Joy Chandra I.L.R 38 CAL 214.

19
(1.4) SEDITION BEFORE INDEPENDENCE:
The law of ‘Sedition’ was an import from English law into the Indian Penal Code
in the colonial period. During the freedom struggle, on the one hand the British Indian
administration under changing political exigencies, sought to repress any hostile criticism
of its rule by ever widening the legal scope of the term ‘Sedition’ and one the other the
Nationalists questioned the very basis of it. Was it Sedition of the people against the
colonial Government (Rajdroh) or of the government against the Indian people
(Deshdroha)?
During the time of English law the Indian Nationalists acted and reacted on each
other. With ever increasing repression the nationalist found different ways of
disseminating ideas of ‘freedom’ other than press, through songs, theatre, Kirtan,
Pravachans and public lecture. Unable to stem the tide of nationalism the government
sought to contain Sedition.
(i) Firstly by prosecuting the Newspaper,
(ii) Secondly by amending the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and criminal
procedure code (Cr.PC); applying different existing laws and enacting new
cognate laws such as the sea custom act (1878). The seditious meeting act
(1908) and the Indian press act (1910), to name a few. The chain reaction
continued until the Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated an era of Satyagraha
when the ‘Terror of Law’ was lost.
The Law of Sedition was an important during the colonial period from English law into
the Indian Penal Code which consisted of partly the treason-felony act, the common law
with regard to seditious libel and the law relating to seditious libel and the law relating
seditious words25 The clause on Sedition stood as Section 113 Macaulay’s draft Indian
Penal Code (IPC) of 183726 and was shelved for 20 years until the enactment of the
Indian Penal Code in 1860. But when Indian Penal Code enacted the said clause was
curiously omitted despite the tumultuous happenings of 1857-58, only to be inserted into

25
Walter Rusell Donough, the History and Law of Sedition and Cognate Offences in India, Thacker Spink
and co. Calcutta, 1914 2ndEdition page no 180.
26
Macaulay and the Indian Penal Code of 1862 by David Skuy : The Myth of the Inherent superiority and
Modernity of the English Legal System Compared to India’s Legal System in the Nineteenth Century.
Modern Studies, Vol 32 No. 3 July 1998 pp 513-537.

20
the Indian Penal Code by way of an amendment in 1870. While introducing the
amendment Sir James Stephen the law Secretary to Government of India justified on the
pretext that it aimed to bring about uniformity and remove incongruities in the existing
law. He pointed out that the new Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code aimed to punish
attempts to excite feelings of ‘Disaffection’ and ‘disapprobation’. 27 The bill containing
the law of Sedition Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code was passed on November 25,
1870 as act xxvii an amendment to the Indian penal and continued to remain in force
unmodified till 18 February 1898. Thus Section 124-A read as follows:
Whoever by words, either spoken or intended to be read or by signs or by visible
representation or otherwise excite or attempt to excite feelings of disaffection to the
government established by law in British India shall be punishable with transportation of
life to three years to which fine may be added.
In the initial years while the administration was discreet is not using the law of
Sedition against criticism of official measures, through it dealt severely with any attempt
of uprising however negligible? Criticism in Indian press largely reflected against some
official measures and did not aim at the government itself. After 1870 the administration
did not amend the law of Sedition until 1898 but sought to cover disapproving criticism
by enacting two cognate laws
(1) The dramatic performances act xix of 1876 (DPA),
(2) The vernacular press act (ix) of 1878.
Hence these acts were termed ‘Preventive Measures’ while the first of these laws enacted
due to two allegedly seditious play28 the vernacular press act of 1876 was brought about
by Lord Lytton to suppress sharp criticism of British policies as a result of the events of
1875-76, namely the Deccan agricultural riots of 1875-76 and the failure of relief
measures. It aimed to control the publishers and printers of periodical magazines in native
languages by means of a system of personal security.

27
Disapprobation or Disapproval of any Official Measure was allowed so Long as it was Compatible with a
Disposition to Obedience to Government.
28
The Two Plays were: Cha-Ka Durptan (The Miror of tea planting) by Girish Chandra Ghosh in Bengali and
Malbarraoche Natak by Narayan Bapuji kantikar in Marathi. MSA/JD/1876/Vol.24/398.

21
Seditious Libel 1600-1800:
The Prosecution for seditious libel of people who used words that could urge
insurrection against those in authority, or who censured Public men for their conduct or
criticized the institutions of the country was made possible by the libels famous decision
of the Star chamber court in 1606.29 This decision in effect created a very wide offence of
seditious libel. In 1629 in R v. Elliot, three men were charged with uttering seditious
speeches in parliament, speeches that tended to the sowing of discord and Sedition
between his majesty and his most loyal subjects30 According to stir James Stephen the
invention of printing gave a New importance to Political writings31 By the 1680 there
were frequent and often ruthless prosecutions for Political libel and seditious words
apparently containing extravagant cruelty. 32 For criticizing the Government over the next
three centuries the speaking of inflammatory words, publishing certain libels, and
conspiring with other to incite hatred or contempt for person in authority become known
as seditious offence. In 1792 fox's libel act was passed providing that whole matter in
issue in libel causes was to be decided by the jury not the judges. This did not have the
immediate effect of reforming the law for the many who were prosecuted in this era, seen
as supporters of the French revolution including tom Paine for Publishing the rights of
man and ravened winter Botham for preparing a sermon in favour of the French
revolution and against taxes In 1790's there were a series of trials in Scotland where the
accused were charged with Sedition. 33 Nothing can be worse to any Government than to
endeavour to procure animosities as to management of it, this has been always looked
upon as a crime and no Government can be safe without it be punished. The most vague
and undefined a term which has applied in one age to men rejected by society but whose
names were honoured by after times and upon whose virtues and sufferings in the
succeeding age, the Pillars of the constitution were recited. Sedition 124-A of the Indian
Penal Code was originally Section 133 of Macaulay draft Penal Code of 1837-39. The
Indian law of Sedition was a statutory enunciation of the English common law of

29
R V. Knightly ET AL (1588) State Trials 1263, Cited in KYER,
30
R V. Seliot ET AL (1629) 3 State Trails 293, R v. Uchiltriee (16310) 3 State Trails 425, 937, Cited in KYER.
31
Sir James F Stephen in ‘The History of the Criminal Law of England (London 1883) vol.2, 302.
32
Sedition is the Star Chamber Dead (1979) 3 Criminal Law Journal 89, 95.
33
R V. Gerald (1794) 23 State Trials 803, 841 Cited in Kyer 268.

22
Sedition. It was similar to the English statutory law of treason (under the treason felony
act 1848). However where as English treason law seeks to punish directly disloyalty
feelings (evidence by the fact that they are made public).Sedition is intended only to
punish not one’s own disloyal feelings but causing (or attempting to cause) other people
to have disloyal feelings towards the government. Pre independence Section 124-A of the
Indian Penal Code remained much same as its inception, with minor amendments which
were predominantly for the sake of clarifying and unifying the way that it had been
interpreted to common law. Much discussion has centred on the meaning of the term
disaffection. Judges interpreted it as merely the opposite to affection. But later it was held
to be positive feeling, not just the absence of affection. 34 According to justice Strachey
defines Sedition as disaffection as Hatred, enmity, dislike, hostility, contempt and every
form of ill-will to the Government. Disaffection was interpreted not as feeling for another
individual but feeling one had for a ruler. Disaffection is however distinguished from
disapprobation. The law of Sedition is unfortunate Legacy of the British Government in
India. Pre independence Sedition was a mechanism employed by the courts to quash Anti
Government sentiments by stemming the propagation of ideas that might (either did or
were intended to) cause the listeners to feel disaffection for the Government of British
India. It is for this that Mohan Dass Gandhi called Section 124-A of the Indian Penal
Code the prince amongst mechanism used to silence political opposition. The Section
Sedition was first introduced in the Indian Penal Code in 1870 to counter the increasing
Wahabi Activities between 1863 and 1870. The frame work of this Section was imported
from various sources like treason felony act (operating in Britain) the common law of
Sedition libel and English law relating to seditious word Section Before independence the
law of Sedition is to be used by the British to quell the Indian freedom struggle and retain
imperial power. The first Case when this draconian weapon is used by the British
government was against Jogendra Bose in 1891. Jogendra Bose wrote an Article in which
he criticized the age of consent bill saying it was dangerous to religion and that this
legislation was being forced down the throats of Indians. Though the proceedings came to
an end in the light of the apology he tendered he was accused of crossing the limits of

34
Emperor V. Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak (1908) 10 BOMLR 848.

23
legitimate criticism and inciting religious feelings Lok Manaya Tilak was also tried
under this Section when a young revolutionary killed two English women with a bomb
denoted with intention to kill an English officer. Tilak criticized the killing but blamed
the British government for bringing the situation in the country to a brink, two instigating
the revolutionaries. A young Mohammad Ali Jinnah defending Tilak and asked the judge
to define disaffection for the purpose of this Section to which the judge said anything
which is not affection is disaffection. Later on Tilak was convicted and sentenced to 6
years imprisonment. Justice Strachey who was invited to preside over Tilak Case
interpreted the term disaffection as including, hatred, contempt, dislike, enmity, hostility,
and any form of ill-will towards the Government. The interpretation of Section 124-A of
the Indian Penal Code came into existence in 1898 when amendment by addition of
words hatred and contempt in the definition of Sedition and including disloyalty and
feelings of enmity. Mahatma Gandhi when he was being tried for Sedition in 1922 for
three Article published in the Magazine youth India commented Section 124-A of the
Indian Penal Code under which he says that the law of Sedition in India is prince among
the political Section which motto is only to suppress the liberty of the citizen further
stated that it was important to provide a citizen with freedom to display his fullest
expression to his disaffection so long as he does not contemplate promote or incite to
violence. Before independence there were three acts related to Sedition. Which were as
follows?

THE SEDITION ACT OF 1798:


(SECTION-1)
The Sedition act 1798 has three Sections on which the whole act is based. Section
First was enacted by the Senate house of representatives of the United states of America,
in congress assembled, that if any person shall unlawfully combine or conspire together
with intent to oppose any measure or measures of the Government of the United States
which are or shall be directed by proper authority, or impede the operation of any law of
the united States or to intimidate or prevent any person holding a place or office in under
the Government from undertaking, promoting ,or executing his trust or duty and if any
person with intent as aforesaid, shall counsel, advise or attempt to procure any
insurrection, riot, Unlawful assembly, or combination, whether such conspiracy,

24
threatening, counsel, advice or attempts shall have proposed effect or not, he or they shall
be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanour and on conviction before any Court of State,
having jurisdiction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding five thousand dollars
and by imprisonment during term not less than six months nor exceeding five years.
(SECTION -2)
It further enacted that if any person shall write, Print, utter, or Publish or shall
cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered or published, or shall knowingly or
willingly assist or aid in Writing, Printing, Uttering or Publishing any false, Scandalous
and malicious writing or wrong against the Government or either houses of the said
congress, or said president, or bring them , or either of them, into contempt or disrespect,
or to excite against them or either of them, the hatred of the good people of the United
States, or any act of the president or resist or oppose or defect any such law or act or to
aid ,encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against Government,
their people or Government , then such person, being there of convicted before any court
of the Government having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding
two thousand dollars and by imprisonment not exceeding two years.

(SECTION -3)
It further enacted and declared that if any person shall be prosecuted under this
act, for the writing or publishing any libel aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the defendant
upon the trial of the Case to give in evidence in his defence, the truth of the matter
contained in the publication charged as a libel. The jury who shall try the Case shall have
a right to determine the law and the fact under the direction of the court, as in other
Cases.

(SECTION -4)
It is further enacted that this act shall continue and be force until the third day of
March one thousand eight hundred and one and no longer. Provided that the expiration of

25
the act shall not prevent or defect a prosecution and punished of any offence against the
law during the time it shall be in force.35

DOCUMENT -2
ESPIONAGE ACT OF 1917-
SECTION - (1)
(a) That whoever for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the National
defence with intent or reason to believe that the information to be obtained is to
be used to inquiry of the united states , or to advantage of any foreign nation.
(b) Whoever lawfully having possession of access to control over or being entrusted
with any document relating to the national defences, wilfully communicates or
transmit or attempt to communicate or transmit the same
(c) whoever being entrusted with having lawful possession or control of any
document relating to the national defences, through gross negligence permits the
same to be removed from its proper place of custody or stolen, abstracted, or
destroyed shall be punished by fine not more than ten thousand dollars or by
imprisonment for not more than years or both.

SECTION -2
whoever with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the
united states or to the advantages of a foreign nation, communicates, deliver, or transmit,
or attempts to, or aids or induces another to, communicates, deliver, or transmit, to any
foreign government, or to any nation or party or military or naval force within a foreign
country any document or information than twenty years provided that whoever shall
violate the provision of this Section in time of war shall be punished by death or by
imprisonment for not more than thirty year.

35
Comparative Activity- Sedition act 1798 and 1917-1918, Teaching Judicial Source U.S Statues of Large
(1845) 596-97.

26
SECTION (3)
Whoever, when the United States is at war shall wilfully make or convey false
reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the
military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies and
whoever when the united states is at war, shall wilfully cause or attempt to cause
insubordination, or disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of
the united states , or shall wilfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment services of the
united states to injury of their services or of the united states shall be punished by fine of
not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than twenty years or
both.

SECTION (4)
Whoever harbours or conceal any person who he knows, or has reasonable ground
to believe or suspect, has committed or is about to commit an offence under this title shall
be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not
more than two years or both.36

DOCUMENT -3
THE SEDITION ACT 1918 (EXCERPT)
SECTION -1
Whoever when the United States is at war, shall wilfully make or convey false
reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of its
enemies, or shall wilfully make or convey false reports or false statements or say or do
anything to an investor or investors with intent to obstruct the sale by united states of
bonds or other securities of the United States or the making of loans by or to the united
states, and whoever when the united states is at war shall wilfully cause or attempts to
cause or incite or attary or Naval Forces of the United States or shall wilfully obstruct or
attempt to obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States and whoever
when the united states is at war , shall wilfully Utter, Print, write, or Publish any disloyal,
Profane, Scurrilous, or abusive language intended to bring the form of military or Naval
Forces of the United States or the Flag of the United States, or the Military or Naval

36
Document Source U.S Statues at Large 40 (1919)

27
Forces of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the Uniform of
the Army or Navy of the United States into contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrepute, or
shall wilfully utter, print, write, or publish any language intended to incite provoke, or
encourage resistance to the united states , or to promote the cause of its enemies or shall
writing, printing, publication, or language, spoken, urge, incite, manner shall be punished
by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or the imprisonment for not more than
twenty years, or who in an abusive an violent manner criticizes the army or navy or the
flag of the united states shall be at once dismissed from the service.
SECTION -2:
When the United States is at war the postmaster general may, upon evidence
satisfactory to him that any person or concern is using the mails in violation of any of the
provisions of that person or concern is using the mail in violation of any of the provisions
of this act, instruct the postmaster at any post office at which mail is received addressed
to such person or concern to return to the postmaster at the office at which they are
originally mailed all letters or other matter so addressed with the words mail to this
address undeliverable under espionage act plainly written or stamped upon the outside
there of, and all such letters or others matters so returned to such postmasters shall be by
them returned to the senders there of under such regulations as the postmaster general
may prescribe.37

SEDITION AND THE COGNATE OFFENCES- THE PREVENTIVE


MEASURES:
After 1870 the administration did not amend the law of Sedition until 1898 but
sought to cover Sedition by enacting two cognate Laws
(1) The dramatic performance act xix of 1876 (DPA).
(2) The vernacular press act (ix) of 1878.
If there was criticism it was against the official measures and did not aim at the
government itself. Hence these acts were termed ‘preventive measures’. The passage of
the first act was prompted by two plays – cha-ka-durpan (the mirror of the tea planting) in
Bengal and Malharraoche Natak by Narayan Bapuji Kantikar in Marathi. The

37
Document Source U.S Statues at Large 40(1919) 553-54.

28
Government was quick to realise the impact of this medium in spreading Sedition. This is
evident from the comments of Mr. Hob house, who introduced the bill. He observed,”
now in all times and countries, the drama has been found to be one of the strongest
stimulants that can be applied to the passion of men. And in all times of excitement no
surer mode has been found of directing public feeling against an individual, a class or a
Government than to bring was compared with the other historical personages such as a
Caesar, napoleon and Mazzini. It also included Professor S.G Jinsiwale’s justification of
Shivaji’s Murder of Afzal khan.
The legal proceedings against Tilak were precipitated by a venomous campaign
launched by the times of India and Bombay gazette. Not only the letters of ‘justice’ and
‘shackles’ but also the editorials of the time charged Tilak’s Article in kesari as seditious
and faulted the government for allowing such a man to be on the governor’s executive
council. On June 28 ‘shackles’ connected Tilak to rand’s murder Case. The times urged
the government on July 6 to prosecute Tilak under Section 124-A of the Indian Penal
Code. The Anglo Indian press in India and England echoed the charge. This prompted Sir
E. Ashmead Barlette to question the secretary of the state for India in the parliament on
June 9. Tilak’s reports to the mischievous writings of the times appear in the Kesari on
June 30. As expected, Tilak was arrested on charges of Sedition on August 27 and the
trial began on September 8, 1897. Significantly while applying Section 124-A of the
Indian Penal Code justice James Strachey rejected the defence argument that the Article
describing the sufferings of the people were quite consistent with Loyalty, the object of
the accused was to “ create a national sentiment” and that “ No suggestion to
overthrowing of disaffection”. This means “Hatred, enmity, dislike, hostility, contempt
and every form of ill-will to the Government”. He equated disaffection to disloyalty,
comprehending every possible form of bad feeling and held that “the amount to the
intensity of the disaffection is absolutely immaterial except perhaps in dealing with the
question of punishments. On the ‘disapprobation’ allowed in the explanation to clause
124-A he remarked “ it does not apply to any writing which consists not merely of
comments upon Government measures, but of attacks upon the government itself, its
existence, it’s essential characteristics, its motives, or this feelings towards the people”.
In view of the significant interpretation the obvious necessity of importing plainer

29
language into the law of Sedition was at once recognized and legislation speedily
followed in 1898. Justice Strachey’s remark were very often cited in subsequent cases
and confirmed.
Tilak was aware that the Case for prosecution was weak but he feared the bias of
a Non-Marathi knowing and European dominated jury. He knew that the law was twisted
to suit the administration. The native press called it” Strachey law”. Justice Strachey who
was the junior most on the bench and was known for bias against the natives was
specially asked for presides over the Case. Tilak’s conviction was resented by almost the
entire native press and it did contribute to mass mobilization.
TREASON FELONY ACT 1948:
According to Sir James Stephen (The great peculiarity of the English law of
treason was to rear every thought of the heart as a crime which was to be punished as
soon as it was manifest by overt act.38 In practice however this distinction is a problem
one. Why would one incite disaffection if they did not themselves feel disaffection? How
could a person truly harbour disloyalty feeling towards the government and not have the
desire to change the minds of others? So despite the careful wording, intended not to
illegality a person internal feeling, in practice what Sedition does is make a crime. The
problem with punishing and feelings. For a Government to have control over people's
acts, not over their thought and feelings. For a Government to have control over their
citizen feelings is a rightful thought and the subject of many dystopian narratives such as
the Novel , Nineteen eight four, which infused into the popular vernacular the term
thought crimes and gave us the adjective which is synonymous with a terrifying
totalitarian regime which asserts control over thoughts as well as actions.

THE LAW OF SEDITION AND POST-1910 PERIOD:


After 1910 press censorship and proscription of seditious books began. Sanad of
‘seditious’ pleaders were suspended and even imams were confiscated. The Bombay
presidency police abstract of intelligence discloses interesting facts about government’s
efforts to contain Sedition. Interpretation of post under the sea custom act (1878) began

38
W.R.Donough, A treatise on the Law of Sedition and Cognate Offences in British India, Penal and
Preventative , Thakker, Spink and Co. Calcutta 1911, page no 5.

30
to be stringrly enforced since 1907. A list of ‘dangerous characters’ and their weekly
movements began to track down from 1908. After 1911 a list of prescribed literature was
regularly appended to the intelligence reports
In the process the government also sought the help of native princely sates to curb
Sedition. For example in 1909 the Kolhapur state convicted Professor V.G Vijapurkar,
Tilakite and to the Samarth vidyalya fame, Vaman Malhar Joshi the famous Marathi poet
and V.N Joshirao in the Vishwavrutta newspaper case under Section 124-A. In 1916
Tilak was again prosecuted under the charge of Sedition, for delivering objectionable
speeches. He had stated that the salaries of the British officials were too high, Indians had
no effective control over finance, and the present officials being in facts alien by race did
not really understand the need of the people. This was termed as causing ‘hatred’ against
the European bureaucracy and therefore seditious against the Government. Barrister
Mohamed Ali Jinnah ably defended Tilak and secured his acquittal. He argued that
criticism of English bureaucracy did not represent ‘Disaffection’ against the Government.
Justice Stanley Batchlor and justice shah upheld the defence argument.39 With the
outbreak of the First World War the government came out with more draconian laws to
suppress Sedition. A Sedition committee was constituted under S.A.T Rowlat which
submitted its report in 1918.
The said report contained a comprehensive account of the seditious movements in
different parts of the Country, particularly revolutionary activities it listed the difficulties
faced by the government in trying to contain Sedition and suggested legislation, both
preventive and punitive along with the emergency powers for the executive. It mainly
provided justification for official measure against Sedition.

THE NEW BATTELFRONT: THE FEDERAL COURT OF INDIA


From the summer of 1942 the federal court of India at New Delhi issued a series
of judgements which challenged the action of the colonial Government and forced
colonial authorities to rescind or rethink several of their actions. The judgement dealt
with the question of Sedition, the limit to the ordinance making powers of the viceroy and

39
Emperor v. B.G Tilak, the Bombay Law Reporter VoL xix pp. 111-73.

31
the legality of the exclusion of judicial review. In 1942 the court overturned the
conviction of Niharendu Dutt Mazumdar for Sedition40. Mazumdar had delivered a
speech in the Bengal legislative assembly attacking the governor and the elected
Suhrawardy Ministry for the failure to maintain law and order during the Decca riots. The
court went into the merits of Mazumdar’s speech and held that the right to “utter honest
and reasonable criticism” of an existing system of Government or even the expression of
a desire for a different system of government was a source of strength to a community. It
argued against the literal interpretation of the Sedition clause suggesting that the way it
was framed in the Indian Penal Code was sufficient to make a surprising number of
persons guilty of Sedition.
The more starling confrontation with the executive came in the Case of Keshav
Talpade, where the federal court directed the Bombay HC to issue a writ of Heabus
corpus to a petitioner detained under rule 26 of the defence of India rules on the grounds
that rule 26 was ultra vires the defence of Indian act and was hence invalid41. Section 2
(2) of the defence act had granted the power to the government to make rules providing
or the apprehension and detention in custody of any person reasonably suspected of being
of hostile origin or acting in a manner prejudicial to the safety and interest of the empire.
The rule as framed under the act however required the Provincial Government to be
satisfied that the detention of a person is necessary. The court struck down the rule 26 on
the grounds that it merely required the satisfaction of the provincial authorities and an
‘evidently reasonable ground for suspicion’ as required by the enabling legislation.

(1.5) SEDITION AFTER INDEPENDENCE:


The law of Sedition was a gift from the British Government of India government
of India. Before independence the two of them were sitting on the Varandah of the
governor-general bungalow sipping morning tea. When the Indian Government gently
touched the British Government gently hand and shy asked,” can i keep this Sedition law,
then? And British Government said sure and since then all of us have had to be very
careful. The Sedition law gives guidelines regarding how should feel about the

40
Niharendu Dutt Mazumdar v. King Emperor A.I.R Federal Court 22.
41
Kesahv Talpade v. king Emperor 30 A.I.R 1943 Federal court.

32
government and warns against crimes such as disloyalty and disaffection. Before he
became Pakistani, Mohammad Ali Jinnah once sought a clarification on this. While
defending Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak in 1916, he asked the judge, “What exactly is
disaffection?” “Absence of Affection”. This means that if you do not love the
Government you could be put in jail. Shameless twister of the truth often claims that the
Sedition law has not changed since 1898, but it this is not true.
(a) The law was, in fact revised in 1950. The words ‘Her majesty’ were omitted.
(b) In 1922, Mahatma Gandhi was sentenced to six years rigorous imprisonment for
‘being rude to the British.’ In 2010 Dr. Binayak Sen was sentenced to life
imprisonment for ‘resembling a communist.’ This shows that the government now
needs much, much more love than it used to.
What can the average citizen do to avoid life imprisonment? There are no easy answers to
this question. Recent offences have included objectionable to Nuclear radiation (Tamil
Nadu, 2011) not wanting to study private Universities ( Haryana 2010) resisting miming
activities (Chhattisgarh Weekly) possession of paper gum and paint ( Haryana 2009) and
singing (Jharkhand 2009). In the Post independence era, Human Rights groups assert that
the provision is still being used to stifle political dissent and peaceful criticism of the
government and is mapping freedom of Speech in the country. In 1961 in the Case of
kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar the Supreme Court of India upheld the
Constitutionality of the law. However the court distinguished clearly between speech and
writing which “Excites people to violence or have the tendency to create public disorder”
and strong criticism of the Government which speak “ In strong terms upon the measures
or acts of Government or its agencies, so as to ameliorate the condition of the people or to
secure the cancellation or alteration of those acts or measures by lawful means, that is to
say without exciting those feelings of enmity and disloyalty which imply excitement to
public disorder or the use of violence.” The later type of Speech was found to be outside
the ambit of the Sedition law.
In other words as asserted by a report by the centre for the study of social
exclusion and inclusive policy and the alternative law forum the court upheld the
Constitutionality of the Sedition law, but at the same time was “curtailing its meaning

33
and limiting its application to acts involving intention or tendency to create disorder, or
disturbance of law and order, or incitement to violence.”
However the ruling has not prevented charges from being filed against writers, journalist,
Media personalities, and human rights activists in 2010 award winning Novelist
Arundhati Roy was accuse of Sedition after showing support for an independent Kashmir
during a seminar. Doctor and activists Binayak Sen was convicted of Sedition by a trial
court in 2010 and sentenced to life imprisonment but was granted bail in 2011. Critics
have long asserted that the lower trial court have disregarded or ignored the interpretation
of the law as laid out by the Supreme Court of India. Moreover it is asserted that state
authorities have misused the law to target critics an activists who rather than inciting
violence against the State are simply expressing legitimate criticism of the State
activities.
After independence of India a number of prominent leaders, Including Pandit
Nehru, was against the continuance of Sedition law, Nehru explained his position in the
followings words:
“Now as far as I am concerned that particular Section (124-A) is highly
objectionable and obnoxious and it should have no place in any body of laws that we
might pass the sooner we get rid of it the better.”
While upholding the Sedition law the Supreme Court said it should apply only to Cases
where an accused person intended to create public disorder or incite violence. 42 A number
of experts highlight the fact that while carrying out arrest and slapping charges, the police
and their political masters have rarely respected this restriction imposed by the Supreme
Court, causing grave violations of Human Rights43
Jawaharlal Nehru was aware of the problems with the Sedition laws in
independent in India. In the debates that surrounded the first amendment to the Indian
Constitution Nehru came under the severe flak from the opposition leaders for
compromising the right to free speech and opinion. Stung by two court decision in 1949
that upheld the right to freedom of speech of opinions from the far left and the right of the
political spectrum, Nehru asked his cabinet to amend Article 19(1)(a). The two Cases that

42
Kedar Nath Singh v. state of Bihar
43
The Caliber Current affairs and Analysis (Based on Newspaper Reported) Dated September 11, 2012.

34
prompted Nehru to do this were the Romesh Thapar Case, in which the Madras
Government after declaring the communist party illegal banned the left leaning magazine
crossroads as it was very critical of the Nehru Government. The court held that banning a
Publication because it would endanger public safety or public order was not supported by
the Constitutional scheme since the exceptions to 19(1) (a) were much more specific and
had to entail a danger to the security of the state. The second Case related to an order
passed by the chief commissioner Delhi asking the RSS mouthpiece organiser to submit
all communal matter and material related to Pakistan Security.
Nehru Government decided to amend the Constitution inserting the words
“Public Order” and relations with friendly States” into Article 19(2) and the word
“Reasonable” before “Restriction” which was meant to provide a safeguard against
misuse by the Government. In the debates that followed in parliament, Nehru clarified
that he was not validating existing laws like Sedition through this amendment. While
addressing the parliament on the bill relating to the first Constitution of India amendment
1951, Nehru said however Sedition laws remained on the statue books Post-Independence
and was used repeatedly by both Central and State Government to stifle political dissent.
The first major Constitutional challenge to Sedition laws arose in 1958, when the
Constitutional validity of Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code was challenged in an
Allahabad high court Case that involved a challenge to a conviction and punishment of
three years imprisonment of one Ram Nandan for an inflammatory speech given in 1954.
In his speech Ram Nandan criticised the congress regime for not being able to address
extreme poverty in the state and exhorted cultivators and Laburorers to form an Army
and over throw the Government if needed. He also accused Nehru of being a traitor for
dividing the country into two.44
The idea of having a fundamental right of freedom of speech seemed rather
inconsistent with the offence of Sedition and that serving as restriction on speech as it did
via the Privy Council interpretation in Sadashiv. 45 According to justice Fazi Ali said that
Thus in the final draft of the Constitution it was seen that the restriction to the right under
19(1) (a) did not contain Sedition within them commenting on his omission many later.

44
Ram Nandan v. State A.I.R 1959 ALL 101, 1959 CRILJ.
45
King Emperor v. Sadashiv Narayan Bhalerao (1947) LR 74 I.A 89.

35
The framers of the Constitution must have therefore found word Sedition should be used
in Article (19)(2) and if it was to used in what sense it was to used on the one hand they
must have before their mind the very widely accepted view supported by numerous
authorities that Sedition was essentially an offence against public tranquillity and was
connected in the same way or other with public disorder, and on the other and there was
the pronouncement of the judicial Committee that Sedition defined in the Indian Penal
Code did not necessarily imply an intention or tendency to incite disorder, in these
circumstances it is not surprising that they decided not to use the word Sedition in clause
(2) but used the more general words which cover Sedition and everything else which
makes Sedition such a serious offence. That Sedition does undermine the security of the
state. Usually through the medium of public disorder is also a matter on which eminent
judges and jurist are agreed.
Therefore it is difficult to hold that public disorder or disturbance of public
tranquillity is not matters which undermine the security of the state.46 Jawaharlal Nehru
was aware of the problems posed by the Sedition laws to independent India, in the
debates surrounding the first amendment to the Indian Constitution Nehru came under
severe flak from opposition leaders for compromising the right to free speech and
opinion. Stung by two court decision in 1949 that upheld the right to freedom of the
political spectrum, Nehru asked his cabinet to amend Article 19(1) (a). The two causes
that prompted Nehru to do this where the Romesh Thappar Case.47 In which the Madras
Government, after declaring the communist party illegal, banned the left learning
Magazine crossroads as it was sharply critical of Nehru government. The court held that
banning a publication on the grounds of its threat to public safety or public order was
supported by the Constitutional scheme since the exception to (19) (a) were much more
specific and had to entail a danger to security of the state. The second Case related to an
order passed by the chief Commissioner Delhi asking organizer the RSS mouthpiece to
decide to amend the Constitution inserting the word public order and relation with
friendly states into Article 19(2) and the word reasonable before restriction which was
meant to provide a safeguard against misuse by the Government. In the debates that

46
Brij Bhushan and Anr. v. the State of Delhi, 1950 SUPP SCR 245.
47
RomeshThappar v. Union of India A.I.R 1950 SC 124.

36
followed in Parliament Nehru clarified that he was not violating existing laws like
Sedition through this Amendment of the India Constitution 1951. Taking Section 124-A
of the Indian Penal Code. Jawahar Lal Nehru said that according to my opinion Sedition
is highly objectionable and obnoxious and it should have no place, because all of us have
enough experience of it in a variety of ways and apart from the logic of situation our
usages are against it. He said that I do think myself that these changes that we brightened
by a court of law in the fuller context, not only of this thing but other things as well. You
pass an amendment of the Constitution to a particular Article, surely that particular
Article does not put an end to the rest of the Constitution the spirit, the languages the
objective and the rest, and it only clarifies an issue in regard to the particular Article. 48
However Sedition laws remained on the Statue books Post Independence and was used
reputedly by both centre and State Government to sniffle Political dissent. The first major
Constitutional challenges to Sedition laws arose in the fifties when the Sedition law was
struck down as being violation of the fundamental rights to the freedom of speech and
expression in a trilogy of Cases Tara Singh Gopi (1950).49Sbir Raja and finally Ram
Nandan in 1958. In Tara Singh Case, referring to the Sedition law chief justice Eric
Weston wrote India is now a sovereign democratic state. Government may go and be
caused to go without the foundations of the state being impaired. A law of Sedition
thought necessary during a period of foreign rule has become inappropriate by the very
nature of the change which has come about. It is true that the framers of the Constitution
have not adopted the limitation, which the federal court desired to lay down. It may be
they did not consider it proper to go so far. The limitation placed by clause (2) of Article
19 upon interference with the freedom of speech however is real and substantial. The
unsuccessful attempt will not undermine or tend to throw the state. It is enough if one
instance appears of the possible application of the Section to curtailment of the freedom
of speech and expression in a manner not permitted by the Constitution. The Section then
must be held to have become void.

48
Parliamentary Debates of India Vol.12 Part 11 (1951) page 9621 Cited in Ram Nandan v. State A.I.R 1959
ALL 101.
49
Tara Singh v. the State 1951 CRLJ 449.

37
In Ram Nandan Case the Constitutionality validity of Section 124-A of the Indian
Penal Code was challenged in an Allahabad high court Case that involved a challenge to
a conviction and punishment of 3 years imprisonment of one Ram Nandan for an
inflammatory speech given in 1954. The court overturned Ram Nandan conviction and
declared Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code to be Unconstitutional. As a result of
the conventions as has been remarked of parliamentary government, there is a
concentration of control of both legislative and executive function in the small body of
men called the ministers and these are the men who decide important question of policy.
The most important check on their powers is necessary the existence of a Parliamentary
opposition. But at the top of this there is also the fear that the Government may be subject
to popular disapproval not merely expressed in the legislative chambers but in the market
place also which after all is forum where individual citizens ventilate their points of
views If there is possibility in the working of our democratic system as I think there is of
criticism of the government as such and if such criticism without having any tendency in
it to bring about public disorder, can be caught within the mischief of the Section 124-A
of the Indian Penal Code then that Section must be invalidated because it restrict freedom
of speech in disregard of whether the interest of public root of the Constitution which is
free speech. The Supreme Court which held that the Sedition law was Constitutional.50
This Case invoked in kedar Nath a number of the forward communist party in Bihar or
the government against the Indian people (Deshdroha) (Ganachari 2009:95). There are
striking similarities between this and question raised by the contemporary targets of
Sedition law like Arundhati Roy. When faced with the allegation of Sedition for speaking
at a seminar on Kashmir titled (Azadi) the only way held in Delhi in 2010. Arundahti
Roy issued a public statement in which she said that Sedition law is totally oppose to the
public policy because it restrict the individual freedom of speech and expression in the
name of national security. She said that some have accused me of giving hate speeches of
wanting India to break up. What I say comes from love and pride. It comes from not
wanting people to be killed, raped, imprisonment, or has their fingernails pull out in order
to force them to say they are Indians It comes forms wanting to live in a society that is

50
Kedar Nath v. State of Bihar 1962 A.I.R 955, 1962, SCR SUPL(2) 769.

38
striving to be just one. Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their
minds Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice, while communal killers,
mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapist, and those who prey on the poorest of
the poor, roam free.
SUPREME COURT VIEW ON SEDITION TRIAL OF GANDHI:
In Sedition trial of Gandhi he says significantly in his statements before the court,
refers to the nature of who accused the congress of corruption black marketing and
tyranny and targeted Vinobha Bhave's attempts to redistribute land. He talked about a
revolution that would overthrow capitalist Zamindars and congress leaders. The trial
court convicted kedar Nath under Section124-A of the Indian Penal Code and 505-B of
the Indian Penal Code, and sentenced him to one year imprisonment. Kedar Nath
appealed this decision. The Patna high court dismissed his appeal observing that the
charge against the appellant was nothing but a vilification of the government that it was
full of incitements to revolution and that the speech taken as a whole was certainly
seditious. The Case was then appealed in the Supreme Court and made its way first to a
division bench in 1959, and then a Constitutional bench in 1960. In 1961 the
Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court examined this matter along with a bunch of
related appeals from Uttar Pradesh. These appeals included that of Mohd Ishaq Ilhai, who
was prosecuted for having delivered a speech at Aligarh as chairman of the reception
committee of the all Indian Muslim convention in 1953. Another appeal was related to a
meeting of the Bolshevik party in 1954 organized in a village named Hanumanganj in the
district of Basti, in Uttar Pradesh where the members were accused of inciting people to
open rebellion against the government. Another related Case is related to Parasnath
Tripathi for delivering a speech in the village Mansapur in the district Faizabad, in 1955.
In which he is said to have exhorted the audience to organize a volunteer army and resist
the government and its servants by violent means. In its decision the Supreme Court
distinguished clearly between disloyalty to the government and commenting upon the
measure of the Government without inciting public disorder by acts of violence. The
court upheld the Constitutionality of the Sedition law but at the same time curtailing its
meaning and limiting its application to acts involving intention or tendency to create
disorder or disturbance of law and order, or incitement to violence. After independence

39
the provision related to Sedition instead of being repealed has been used by the
government to silence critics Journalist’s human being activities etc. one of the most high
profile and controversial victims of this Section is Dr. Binayak Sen who has been charged
with Sedition for allegedly being a conduct between Naxal helping them in their fight
against the Government. The Section uses terms hatred Contempt and disaffection which
have not been used to include any criticism directed towards the Government. No wonder
than that this provision has been the subject matter of disputes in the courts of India. In
fifties the High court of some states even struck the Sedition Section of Indian Penal
Code as being Unconstitutional. Mechanical order convicting a citizen for offences of
such Serious Nature like Sedition and to Promote enmity and hatred etc does harm to the
cause. It is expected that graver the offence greater should be the care taken so that the
liberty of a citizen is not lightly interferences with.

DOCTRINAL DEVELOPMENTS (EVOLUTION OF THE LAW)


There are two ways in which one may be guilty of Sedition. One must either
actually incite the disaffection or have attempted to incite the disaffection. Either is
sufficient for guilt. In the later Case, it is not of any relevance that the audience did not
feel any disaffection. Pre-Independent, Section 124-A remained much the same as its
inception, with Minor Amendments, which were Predominantly for the sake of clarifying
and unifying the way that it had been interpreted at common law. Much discussion has
centred on the meaning of the term disaffection. In the Bose Case, the judges interpreted
it as merely the opposite to affection. But later it was held to be a positive feeling, not just
the absence of affection51Justice Strachey took a particularly broad approach in his
definition of disaffection as hatred, enmity, dislike, hostility, contempt and every form of
ill-will to the government.52 In Bashkir Balavant Bopkar 1906, disaffection was
interpreted not as a feeling for another individual, but a feeling one had for a ruler.
Disaffection is however distinguished from disapprobation. The second and third
explanation of Section-124-A says that comments expressing disapprobation of the
measure or of the Administrative or not seditious under the act.

51
Emperor v. Bal GangadharTilak (1908) 10 BOMLR 848.
52
W R Donough, A Treatise on the Law of Sedition and Cognate Offences in British India, Penal and
Preventative, Thakker, Spink and Co. Calcutta, 1911,p 47.

40
DISAFFECTION OR VIOLENT CONSEQUENCES:
There is a distinct difference between someone who incite disaffection and one
who incite violence. The latter is a consequentiality approach, which shifts the focus
always from the feeling of the audience, to what they will do what they might do.
In 1942, the federal court in Niharendu Dutt Majummar held that, the acts or
words complained of must either incite to disorder or must be such to satisfy reasonable
men that is their intention,(my emphasis). 53This was a break from the emphasis on the
feelings incited, to the potential consequences of that feeling: that is disorder. In effect
this is (can be read as) an acknowledgement that the domain of the courts is not the
thoughts of the heart. However, this rendering of Sedition was overturned by the Privy
Council in the Sadashiv Case, marking a return to the traditional interpretation.54They
returned to justice Strachey’s interpretation in the first Tilak Case. Here he said, the
offence consist in exiting or attempting to excite in others certain bad feelings towards
the government. It is not the exciting or attempting to excite mutiny or rebellion, or any
sort of actual disturbance, great or small. 55
DIFFRENCE BETWEEN THE FORMER SECTION 124-A AND PRESENT ONE:
The fundamental difference between the former Section 124-A and the present
Sedition act is that in the former the offence consisted in exciting or attempting to excite
feelings of “disaffection” as punishable, but in the latter the act of “bringing or
attempting to bring into hatred or contempt the government of India” has also been made
punishable.

(1.6) ENGLISH AND INDIAN RULES RELATED TO SEDITION


DISTINGUISHED:
According to English Law by law of Sedition we mean all those practices,
whether by word, deed or writing, which is calculated to disturb the tranquillity of the
State and lead ignorant person to subvert the Government.56 The object of Sedition
generally is to those and to bring the administration to justice into contempt and the very

53
Niharendu Dutt Majumadar v. The King Emperor, AIR 1942FC 22.
54
King Emperor v. sadashiv Narayan Bhalerao, (1947) LR 74 IA 89.
55
Queen-Empress v. Bal GangadharTilak (1892) I.L.R.22 BOM 135.
56
R.V.Sullivan, 11 COX 45 Fitzerald.

41
tendency of Sedition is to incite the people to insurrection and rebellion. Sedition has
been described as disloyalty in actions and the law consider as Sedition all those which
have for their object to excite discontent or disaffection, to create public disturbance or to
lead to civil war to bring into hatred or contempt the sovereign all endeavours to promote
public disorder. According to sir James Stephen by Seditious intention we mean an
intention to bring into hatred or contempt, to excite disaffection against the person of his
majesty his heirs or successors, or the Government and Constitution of the United
kingdom by the law established or either house of Parliament, or the administration of
justice or to excite her majesty's subjects to attempt otherwise than by lawful means, the
alteration of any matter in church or state by law established or to raise discontent or
disaffection amongst his majesty's subjects or to promote feelings of ill will and hostility
between different classes of such subjects. The English law does not make mere spoken
or written words treason where they do not relate to any act or design then actually on
foot against the life of the king or the levying of war against and in contemplation of the
speaker. But in India mere spoken or written words constitute the charge of Sedition.
(1.7) WHY NEED LAW OF SEDITION:

The present India has evolved up to a great extent as compared to the early 18th
and 19th centuries. With the advent of modern technology and globalization the
conditions have changed and most importantly the attitude of the people towards the
Government or ruling class has revolutionized and people can get the policies and
schemes amended in order to improve their estate. On the contrary, the Sedition law, in
our context, is indicative of our insane penchant for our colonial past! It also speaks
volumes about how we are still followings laws that have either been annulled or
abolished in most other countries. It is a matter of utter disagree that how the world’s
largest democracy is having laws which were once hurdles in the path of its own freedom
struggle an which is blatantly against the very definition of democratic Rights in today’s
context.

According to Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code: whoever by words, either
spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, bring or attempt
to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the

42
Government established by law India, shall be Punished with imprisonment for life to
which fine may be added or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to
which fine may be added, or with fine.

What a place does a colonial legacy which, its logic, believes that people are
bound to feel affection for the same, and should not show any enmity, contempt

It is a matter of utter shame that even today how we clutch to our colonial past
and their discriminatory laws which were crafted to boot-lick a select few who ran the
Government. The premise of this article is to widen the domain of knowledge and to
apprise the people about Sedition so that they should have cognition about the speeches
or writings or signs or visible representation that fall under the ambit of Sedition.

SEDITION ACT AS A PILLAR OF STRENGTH IN MAINTAINING


UNIFICATION FOR MULTIRACIAL NATIONS:

The main purpose behind the sedition act is maintaining the unity of multiracial
community with different religious and customs. Sedition law played a vital role in
maintaining the unification of multiracial Nation in India. In other words we can say
sedition act provides blanket protection via maintaining protection and security for the
purpose of harmonious and safe Nation. Unity and stability in country with many races,
ethnics, religious, beliefs and customs like India is a difficult task. Even though there are
many other acts that can help maintaining stability and unity (whether directly and
indirectly), sedition act has become one of the best suited act that can help in this affair,
so far57. Set rules or laws are essential for without them the law of the jungle emerged.
Living in a multiracial, multi ethnic and multi religious community we are exposed to
various and many sensitive issues which could create ill-feeling and disaffection and
could finally ended up in tragedy. Sedition law is intended only to punish not one’s own
disloyal feelings but causing (or attempting to cause) or other people to have disloyal
feelings but causing (or attempting to cause) other people to have disloyal feelings
towards the government.

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43
(1.8) IDENTIFICATION OF PROBLEM AND JUSTIFICATION OF RESEARCH
ON THE SUBJECT:

The law of sedition is similar to the English law of treason. However whereas the
English law seeks to punish directly disloyal feelings (evidence by the fact that they are
made public), sedition is intended only to punish not one’s own disloyal feelings but
causing (or attempting to cause) other people to have disloyal feelings towards the
government. In practice however this distinction is a problematic one. Why would one
incite disaffection if they did not themselves feel disaffection? How could a person truly
harbour disloyal feelings towards the government and not have the desire to change the
minds of others? So despite the careful wording, intended not to illegalize a person’s
internal states is that the law claims to have control over people’s acts, not cover their
thoughts and feelings. For a government to have control over their citizens a feeling is a
frightful thought. The law of sedition is to be used in India has good or bad impact on
person living in India. The good impact of this law is that through the help of this law
unification, stability, and unity is maintained in a country. Another impact is that the law
of sedition is misused by the government authorities. In that condition article 19(1) (a) of
the constitution is infringed. In present scenario the law of sedition is to be misused by
the government and its authorities in the name of national security and integrity.

The Law of Sedition is related to those who, for the purpose of attacking or
subverting the state and Government and, seek to disturb its tranquillity, to create public
disturbance and to promote disorder, who incite others to do so, words , deeds or writings
constitute Sedition. The essential requirement for Law of Sedition is to bring or attempt
to bring disaffection towards the Government. But now in India the Law of Sedition is to
be misused by the Government and authorities in the name of national security and its
integrity. Law of Sedition came under the Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code.
Sedition Laws are used against freedom of speech and expression which stir up
opposition to the established authority of the state. In other words Sedition is an offence
against the state which is totally different form offences against public order such as
Unlawful assembly and rioting. One of the most hated provision of the Law Section 124-

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A of the Indian Penal Code defines the offence of Sedition in broad general terms and
makes it punishable with imprisonment of life. Our Constitution provides us the Right to
freedom of speech and expression. But the fact is that there is a loophole in the manner of
Sedition Law, which is nothing but a toy in the hands of Government. Which is only used
to suppress the voice of citizen who criticized the Government and its policies however
he had a logical reason behind it? But in the name of Nation Security those persons were
put behind the bars with charged of Sedition. The only exclusion remains is for those who
sit under the nose of the national media. Those working in the far flung lands on the same
nation are continuously facing the brunt of being an activist or a journalist and raising
voice against the Government. Many social activists and journalist says that Sedition for
him is like sword which always hanging on their head. This one is the major problem
with this Section 124-A which is related to Sedition.
According to the Gandhi affection cannot be manufactured or regulated by Law.
if a person has any objection regarding to the Government and its policies than he has a
full Right to express his view nobody can restrict him by doing so except the restriction
laid down by the freedom of speech and expression under article 19(1) (a) of the Indian
Constitution. The irony of the Law is in the very fact that it allows foe criticism of the
Government but doesn’t allow truth as its defence. When it is the duty of the People to
comment fairly upon the Government how truth could be neglected as defence of the
crime. The nature of this crime is vested in the concept of sovereignty and the Authority
of it. It is not the Government which is Sovereign and it is the country which is
Sovereign. Now when the Government is no more the Sovereign then they don’t have the
Right to possess the protection against Sedition. The change in circumstances now wants
change in Law. The reason for which this Law was made is no more in existence and
hence this Law shall go. Other countries have started repealing this Law.
(1.9) OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY:
The Premise of the study is to widen the domain of knowledge and to apprise the
people about Sedition so that they should have cognition about the speeches or writing or
sign or visible representation that fall under the ambit of Sedition. The object behind the
study is to let people get well acquainted with the basics of Sedition. The irony of the
Law is in the very Fact that it allows for criticism of the Government but doesn’t allow

45
truth as its defence. When it is the duty of the people to comment fairly upon the
Government, how truth could be neglected as a defence of the crime. The nature of this
crime is vested in the concept of sovereignty and the authority of it. It is not the
Government which is sovereign; it is the country which is sovereign, and its people
which are sovereign. Now when the Government is no more the sovereign they don’t
have the right to possess the protection against Sedition. The another thing which is
important is that whether the word Sedition is too used in article 19(2) and if it was to be
used in what sense it was to be used. On one hand we accepted the view supported by
numerous authorities that Sedition was an offence against the public tranquillity and was
connected in some way or other with public disorder and one the other hand there was the
Pronouncement of the judicial committee that Sedition as defined in the Indian Penal
Code did not Necessarily imply any intention or tendency to incite disorder. In these
circumstances it is not surprising that they decide not to use the word ‘Sedition’ in clause
(2) but used the more general words which cover Sedition and everything else which
make Sedition such as serious offence. That Sedition does undermine the security of the
state usually through the medium of public disorder is also a matter which undermines
the security of the state. This is another objective of the study to find out the ambiguity or
loopholes in the Sedition Law and in what manner this Law should be applicable. In
present scenario the Law of Sedition is too misused by the central as well as by state
authorities against an individual citizen for fair criticism of politician or public
personality and or against a fair criticism of their policies. The object of study is to
prevent misuse of section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code (Sedition) by Law enforcement
departments and compare the Sedition Law with other countries and to find out some
appropriate solutions and suggestions so that the freedom of speech and expression of a
common citizen is not be infringed by the Government in the name of National security
or its integrity.

(1.10) HYPOTHESIS:

Since the research is doctrinal in nature thus here I have my best to insert the
appropriate set of questions. These questions are to satisfy the derived discussion on the
issue taken by me as research problem. Such as;

46
Weather the laws available are sufficient to satisfy the freedom of speech and
expression in context to right to life and personal liberty? Are these laws in whole or in
part curtailing the freedom of speech and expression? What kind of laws can create a
balancing approach between right of speech and expression and the integrity of the Indian
constitution? In which country people are more enjoying their rights in a decent way?

(1.11) RESEARCH METHODOLOGY :

Analyzing the laws related to sedition and its provisions might be helpful in
understanding the concept of sedition law. This study is to understand the linkage
between freedom of speech and expression and the sedition law. The method to research
on sedition is analytical study. With the help of report of appellant courts and
conventional theory is also help full. During the research on sedition case law, ordering
and systematizing legal prepositions, constitutional articulation is also taken into
consideration. In a dynamic society the laws of social welfare have placed a great burden
on courts of law. Generally there will be gaps in statues and the courts have to evolve
doctrinal principles, standard and norms. Further there will be ambiguity in the statutory
language. A word which appears to be clear during the enactment of law may become
vague during its application to the particular case.

The above discussion is regarding the analysing the existing statutory provisions
are the reason for the doctrinal research. In a doctrinal research a legal research scholar
“takes one or more legal proposition as a starting points as focus of his study. For
example a scholar interested in the law of contract might start with the proposition that
action in reliance by a promise is a sufficient reason for the courts to enforce the
promise”. In a doctrinal research scholar mainly uses library to get statutes text.
Judgments, treaties, legal journals, magazines, etc. He collects all relevant material on the
topic and after reading all he critically analyses facts, after analysing all materials he
formulates conclusions and writes up report. Doctrinal research is generally based on
legal principles, doctrines or maxims. Doctrinal research involver’s analysis of case law
is arranging, ordering and systematizing legal proposition and study of legal institution
through legal reasoning or rational deduction.

47
The comparative research approach seeks to draw parallels and contrasts between
two similar or competing systems of thought, among several cultures or within cross-
cultural societies. Comparative research methodology is carried out by using a variety of
tools, including surveys, personal observation and analysis of national data. Comparative
research is useful for classifying shared social phenomena, placing cultural values in
context and analyzing cultural differences.

(1.12) REVIEW OF LITERATURE:


Freedom of Speech and Expression is the basic right that forms the bedrock of any
State that claims to be democratic writings Blogs, protesting through social Media,
Networks, and Email Campaign are various tools while come under the concept of
freedom of speech and expression. The right of free Speech is not historical right.
Socrates was poisoned for asking People to question Facts. For a long time in history the
right to speak one’s mind and articulates one’s thought were subjected to extreme
penalty. It was the struggles of the Masses, Entire Population, the working and Toiling
Common Men and women that has eventually recognized the Freedom of Speech and
Expression in Constitutional Statues, engraved in as Law. The struggle continues even
today under the so called “Democratic Rights”. This is no more than an Expression of
Unequal relation under Capitalism. The Law of Sedition is related to these who, for the
purpose of attacking or subverting the State and Government and seek to disturb its
tranquillity, to create Public disturbance and to Promote disorder, Who incite others to
Do so, Words, deed or writings Constitute Sedition. The Essential requirement for
Sedition Law is to bring and attempt to bring Disaffection towards the Government. But
now in India the Law of Sedition is to be misused by the Government and Authorities in
the name of National Security and its Integrity. Our Constitution Provide us the Right to
freedom of Speech and Expression. But the fact is that there is Loophole in the manner of
Sedition Law which is nothing but a Toy in the hands of Government. This is only used
to suppress the voice of Citizen who criticized the Government and its Policies. However
he had a logical Reason behind it. But in the Name of Nation Security those People were
put behind the Bar with Charged of Sedition.Rule changed Rulers come and went by. But
the Law remained the same and still being used widely and blatantly to curb the voice of
the people sadly even in the Present Rule of Democracy. A law which Penalize such

48
Criticism is violation of the Constitutional Guarantee of freedom of speech and
expression and is therefore unconstitutional. The Constitutional challenges to Sedition
Laws arouse because the Law is struck down as being violations of the fundamental right
to the freedom of Speech and Expression. Many social activists oppose Sedition Law
according to him Sedition Law Constitutionally being used to harms Media and activists
across the Country.
Here are some Act, Books, And Cases related to sedition law. Prevention of Insult
to National Honour Act 1971, The State Duty Samantha Subramanian First Published in
(New York Time India INK Blog Feb. 2012, Reports of all Indian convention against
sedition of other repressive laws dated 31 Jan, 2012 (opening by Pushkar Raj Gen Sec.
PUCL), Trial of Mahatma Gandhi, Durgadas Basu, Commentary on the Constitution of
India (Wadhwa 8th Edition 2007 1950, H.M Seervai, Constitutional Law of India Vol.11,
1130 (Universal Law Publisher 4th Edition 2003), Donough,W.R, The History and Law
of Sedition and cognate offences, penal and preventive , Thacker, Spink & co, Calcutta
1917, Sastri G.D. The law of sedition in India, N.M Tripathi private Ltd New Delhi,
1964, Inamdar N.R Political Thought and Leadership of Lokmanya Tilak, concept
publishing company, New Delhi, 1983, Walter Rusell Donough, The history and Law of
Sedition and cognate offences in India, Thacker Spink and co. Calcutta, 1914, 2nd Edition
page no.180, E.G Press Emergency Power Act 1931; Defence of India Rules, 34,
Macaulay and the Indian Penal Code of 1862 by David Skuy: The Myth of the inherent
superiority and modernity of the English Legal System compared to India’s legal system
in the 19th centaury. Modern studies Vol.32 July 1998 PP 513-537, Democracy
Corruption and Political Rights the Judiciary and the Law by Dr. Prabhakar Sinha, V.N
Shukla’s Constitution of India by Mahendra P.Singh 11th Edition Published by Eastern
Book Company, The Constitution Law of India 46th Edition by Dr. J.N Pandey by Central
Law Agency, Government of India Act 1935, National Human Rights Commission of
India: Formation, Functioning Volume-1 by Arun Ray, Routinization of the
Extraordinary- A Mapping of Security Laws in India by Asmita Basu.
(1.13) SCHEME OF CHAPTERIZATION:
The purpose of my thesis is to analyses the comparative study of Law of Sedition
in India with other countries. The thesis is composed of six chapters, each of them

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dealing with different aspects of Law of Sedition in India. Chapter one is introductory
and defines basic terminology used in the thesis which is related to Sedition in India and
explains meaning of words used in Sedition and its status in India in present scenario. In
it is also explained the historical background of Sedition in India which is sub divided in
two portions one is Sedition before independence and other is Sedition after
independence. The present study reveals around following chapters. In chapter first that
what is the difference between English Law and Indian Law related to Sedition.
Introductory Part gives an outlook on law of Sedition. By Sedition we mean “whoever by
words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations or otherwise
brings or attempt to bring into hatred or contempt, or excite or attempt to excite
disaffection towards the Government established by law in India shall be punished with
imprisonment for life. To which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may
extend to three years to which fine may be added or with fine. The word Sedition does
not turn up anywhere in the Indian constitution and is an offence against the state as
enumerated in the Indian Penal Code in which Article 19 of the Indian constitution hold
great relevance. The contemporary discernment of Sedition in India encompasses all
these practices. Where by word, deed or writing that are reckoned to disturb the
tranquillity of the State and lead ignorant person to debase the Government.
Sedition is considered a subversive act and the overt acts that may be
prosecutable under Sedition law vary from one legal code to another. Sedition is the
string up of rebellion against the Government of power. Sedition is encouraging one
fellow citizen to rebel against their state. Sedition is an offence which is against the state
as enumerated in the Indian Penal Code. The expression ‘Disaffection’ includes
disloyalty and all feelings of enmity. To constitute an offence of Sedition is incitement to
violence; mere abusive words are not enough and that ‘public disorder or the reasonable
anticipation or likelihood of public disorder is the gist of the offence. In this chapter what
is the origin of this law in other words when it came into existence. Through the
historical background of Sedition law it is explained. What is the status of Sedition in
present and in past before and after independence is also took into consideration.
Meaning of the words which used in the definition of Sedition is also explained like
disaffection, Government established by law, role of intention etc. what amounts to be

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considered disaffection in Sedition. Disaffection means a feeling contrary to affection, in
other words dislike or hatred. If a person either uses either spoken or written words
calculated to create in the minds of the persons, to whom they are addressed a disposition
not to obey the lawful authority of the Government or to subvert or resist the authority if
and when occasion should arise and if he does so with the intention of creating such a
disposition in his hearers or readers he will be guilty of the offence of attempting to
excite disaffection within the meaning of this section though no disturbance is brought
about his words or any feelings of disaffection. It is sufficient for the purpose of this
section that the words used are calculated to excite feelings of ill-will against the
Government.

Before independence the British Indian administration under changing political


exigencies, sought to repress any hostile criticism of its rule by ever widening the legal
scope of the term ‘Sedition’ and one the other hand the nationalist questioned the very
basis of it. Was it Sedition of the people against the colonial Government (Rajdroh) or the
Government against the Indian people (Deshdroh).

Chapter two examines relevant Czech legislation related to Sedition named


Constitutional articulation. The chapter consist what is the Constitutional validity of
Section 124-A of Indian penal code which is related to Sedition. Article 19 of the
Constitution was raised in a few Cases leading to a conflict of decision in high courts.
There are two divergent views in this regard. One view hold that Section 124-A of the
Indian penal code is ultra vires of the Constitution insofar as it seeks to punish merely
bad feelings against the Government. It is unreasonable restriction on the freedom of
speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1) (a) and is not saved under Article
19(2) of the Constitution by the expression ‘in the interest of public order’. In this chapter
it is explained the quarry which is related to Section 124-A of the Indian penal code is
that how far Section 124-A is affected by Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution by which
every citizen of India has been given the right of freedom of speech and expression. But
this right is qualified by Article 19(2) of the Constitution.

Chapter three is related to Sedition criminal jurisprudence in which it is


mentioned that if a person found guilty under Section 124-A then what kind of

51
punishment he is given according to the Indian penal code. Indian Penal Code
(Amendment Bill) 2011, Indian Penal Code (Amendment Bill 2012), People’s Union
Civil Liberties, National Security Act, 1980. These are some of the provision which
played a vital Role to punish the wrong doer if he is guilty of Sedition.

Chapter four is related to Laws related to Sedition. In this Chapter it is mentioned


the various Acts through which a person is penalized by the courts. In other words if a
person done an Act which is beyond these Act then he is guilty hold under Section 124-A
of the Indian penal code. Prevention of National Honour Act 1971, Prevention of
Seditious Meetings Act 10 of 1911, National Security Act 1980, Public Union Civil
Liberties Act (PUCL) And Article 19(1) (2) of the Constitution of India laid down some
guide lines which should be obey by every citizen who lives in India. In other words
these Laws laid down a sphere for every person under which a person should perform
their obligation and if a person use his power beyond that sphere than in that condition he
is penalized according to the provisions of these Acts.

Chapter five is related to Judicial Pronouncements which is subdivided in two


parts one is decided Cases in pre independence in India related to Sedition in India and
another is related to decide Cases after independence in India.

Chapter six is related to comparative position of Law of Sedition in other


countries. In this Chapter Laws of Sedition related to Australia, England, Uganda,
Malaysia, Hong-Kong and New Zealand is Compare with each other. Comparative study
is subdivided in three parts one is Comparative Study of freedom of speech and
expression and desecration in other countries, second is Flag desecration a comparative
study in other countries, and the last one is Comparative study of insult Law in other
Countries.

Chapter Seven is related to conclusions and suggestions on behalf of Law of


Sedition. In this chapter many suggestions were given on behalf of the Sedition Law.
What kind of appropriate steps should be given by the Government on behalf of the
Sedition so this Law is not misused by the Government in the Name of National Security
and integrity of the Nation? Government used this Law as a weapon to suppress the

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dissent voice of citizen if he raised his voice against the Government Policies for a
reasonable ground. Following are the concluded chapters of the study.

1. Introduction

2. Law of sedition in India: Constitutional Articulation

3. Law of sedition in India: Criminal Jurisprudence

4. Law of sedition in India: Other Laws

5. Law of sedition India: Judicial Pronouncements

6. Law of sedition: Comparative study

7. Conclusion and Suggestions

*********

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