Mahua Moitra who is one of the challengers of the sedition law in the Supreme Court said the list of what Pandit Nehru could not do is long, starting with lying in the court.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Tuesday told the Supreme Court the government is doing what Nehru could not do as he replied to Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal’s argument in the court – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had said that this provision is obnoxious and the sooner we get rid of sedition, the better’. The exchange took place as a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana was hearing petitions filed by the Editors’ Guild of India, Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra and others challenging the sedition law.
“You are right, Sir. Nehru could not lie in court, spy on countrymen, arrest innocents, lock up dissenters with no due process. The list is a long one,” Mahua Moitra tweeted replying to Mehta’s comment inside the court.
During the debate in the court, Kapil Sibal retorted to Solicitor General Mehta’s comment and said, “No, not at all. You are not doing that. You are supporting the law. You are saying all is good Mr Mehta.” “Affection cannot be manufactured. One should be free to express disaffection, so long as there is no incitement to violence. I hold it to be a virtue to be disaffected to the Government,” said Sibal.
The Supreme Court finally sought the Centre’s stand on keeping the pending sedition cases in abeyance until the Centre re-examines the law as the Centre submitted in its affidavit. The Centre earlier said it has decided to “re-examine and reconsider” the sedition law by an “appropriate forum”.
Union law minister Kiren Rijiju said Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the ministry to remove the outdated sedition law. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code criminalises sedition which is a non-bailable offence.
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