Supreme Court puts sedition law on hold, says no new case till further orders

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Centre to reconsider the provision in IPC Section 124A (sedition). Till the exercise of re-examination is complete, no case will be registered under Section 124A, nor will any investigation be taken up under this provision, the court said.
The CJI-led apex court bench said that those already booked under the sedition law, and are in jail, could approach competent courts for appropriate relief and bail.
This is the first time in 162 years that the operation of provision of sedition has been suspended.
The court said the provision would remain suspended indefinitely and till further orders. It added that the Union government is free to issue additional directions to the states.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday had allowed the Centre to re-examine the sedition law and sought government’s response to a suggestion that registering of new cases under the colonial-era law be put on hold till the review exercise is over.
The court had expressed concern over slapping of Section 124A, but took note of the Centre’s submission that the government has decided to “re-examine and reconsider” the sedition law by an “appropriate forum”.
The top court had also asked the Centre if it could frame guidelines for the states to ensure that the rights of those already arrested under Section 124A are protected till the review is over.

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