To Curb Anti-National Activities, Sedition Law May Be Made More Stringent After Law Commission’s Review

To Curb Anti-National Activities, Sedition Law May Be Made More Stringent After Law Commission’s Review Activists shout slogans against Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). (Qamar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images)

Law on sedition, which the Law Commission is currently reviewing, could be made more stringent, a report in the New Indian Express says.

According to the daily’s report, the law on sedition was discussed in detail in a high-level meeting which was attended by senior government officials. The possibility of widening the scope of law with the clause ‘showing disrespect to nation’ was discussed in detail by the officials.

Section 124-A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with law on 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,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,” Section 124-A currently states.

There was also a suggestion to reduce the maximum punishment from life imprisonment to five years.

"The commission is working on providing a clear definition to sedition. We are yet to arrive at a conclusion but different aspects are being considered to see whether the law needs to be strengthened or it needs to be curtailed," the daily has quoted an unnamed source, aware of the developments, as saying.

Section 124-A came into limelight after anti-India slogans were raised by radical left-wing groups in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.

In 2015, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had introduced a private member’s bill to amend Section 124-A by replacing it with a new law.