Sedition case filed against a woman in Bengaluru for shouting “Pakistan Zindabad (long live Pakistan)
The young woman, identified as Amulya Leona, was heard saying “Pakistan Zindabad , Hindustan Zindabad” at Hyderabad MP Asaduddin’s Owaisi’s Anti-CAA Rally in Bengaluru on 20th Feb. 2020. She was arrested last evening and sent to 14-day judicial custody.
Owaisi himself rushed to take the mike from her. He clarified that he has no links with the woman. Owaisi said: “I condemn this statement. The woman is not associated with us. Humare Liye Bharat Zindabad Tha, Zindabad Rahega.” The girl’s father has criticized her and condemned the incident. He was quoted by news agency ANI as saying: “What Amulya said is wrong. She was joined by some Muslims and wasn’t listening to me.” He was confronted by unidentified men who were standing around him while he made the statement.
The woman was soon taken into custody, with the police eventually saying they have registered a sedition case against her. Police said that a case has been registered under Section 124A (Offence of sedition) of the Indian Penal Code against Amulya. The police will first interrogate her and then she will be produced before a court, officials said. As per reports, she was denied bail later and sent to three-day judicial custody; a local court will hear her bail petition on Monday.
Now lets Understand What is Indian Sedition Law
What is Sedition law?
Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with sedition and was drafted by Thomas Babington Macaulay and included in the IPC in 1870. The section related to sedition initially had its place in the code, as Section 113, when Thomas Babington Macaulay drafted the Penal Code in 1837. However, for reasons unknown, it was omitted from the actual Code. It was finally added in 1870 on the suggestion of James Fitzjames Stephen, at the time handling legal issues in the colonial Government of Indian.
According to Section 124A, Sedition
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 excites or attempts 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.
- Explanation 1.—The expression “disaffection” includes disloyalty and all feelings of 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 this section.
- Explanation 3.—Comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.
Criticism of Indian Sedition Law
In post-independence India, Section 124A came under criticism at numerous intervals, being singled out for its curbing of free speech. When the First Amendment of the Constitution of India was passed in 1951, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru proposed to “get rid of it [Section 124A]” as written, and favoured handling sedition-related by other means. In 2018, the Law Commission of India published a consultation paper that asked for a possible amendment or repeal of the law. During the 2019 Indian general election, the opposition Indian National Congress (INC) included a specific proposal to abolish Section 124A in their manifesto. However, while the INC-led United Progressive Alliance had been in power (2004–2014), the section had remained intact and was used to file charges on various citizens.
For decades, successive governments have used a colonial-era sedition law – the dreaded section 124a of the antiquated Indian Penal Code – against students, journalists, intellectuals, social activists, and those critical of the government.