X Close

As SC stays proceedings in sedition cases, Left parties demand contentious law be scrapped


NEW DELHI: The Left parties on Wednesday demanded that the Supreme Court should scrap the sedition law altogether and not wait for the government to review the same.

The apex court on Wednesday put on hold the contentious law, stayed the registration of FIRs, ongoing probes and coercive measures on the matter across the country until an "appropriate forum" of the government re-examines the colonial era penal law.

"The CPI(M) has always opposed the sedition law, saying it is anachronistic, brought in by the British to crush our freedom struggle and it has no place in the statute books in independent India.

It's good that the SC has now ordered that this section must be kept in abeyance....The plea of the Modi government that it will review the cases is specious because it has been grossly misusing the sedition law to harass all dissent since 2014," CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said at a press brief here.

"Since this government came to office, 326 people were arrested under the sedition law but only six of them have been convicted in the courts. This is a gross abuse of the law that has been taking place under the Modi government. This law should be scrapped and removed from the statute books," he added.

The CPI issued a statement welcoming the verdict by the Supreme Court and reiterated its demand to scrap the law. It claimed that the party's consistent position on this stood vindicated.

"The party notes that the apex court has even ruled that no new FIR will be lodged under this sedition law until the Centre re-examines the provisions of this British-era law, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

CPI general secretary D Raja in 2011 itself had moved a private member's Bill in Rajya Sabha demanding scrapping of section 124A of IPC, the sedition law clause, which is an anti-democratic dictatorial law which after over a decade, the highest court of the country has stayed for further decisions.

The directive of the Supreme Court on sedition law is vindication of the consistent position of the CPI," the statement said.