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Sedition Law in India: Expalined

What is Sedition?

Sedition is blatant behaviour that goes toward revolt against the existing order, such as speech and organisation. Subversion of a constitution and instigation of discontent with, or insurgency against, existing authority are common examples of sedition. Any uproar that is not intended at direct and open violence against the laws is considered sedition. Seditious libel is the use of seditious language in writing. A seditionist is someone who participates in or advocates sedition. Sedition is often not regarded a subversive act because it is overt, and the overt activities that may be prosecuted under sedition laws differ from one legal code to the next.

What is Sedition Law in India?

Sedition is defined in Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code as an offence committed when a person, through words, whether spoken or written, signs, or visible representation, or otherwise, incites or seeks to incite hatred or contempt for the government constituted by law in India. Disaffection encompasses all feelings of hostility and disloyalty. Comments that do not incite or attempt to incite hatred, scorn, or disdain shall not be considered an offence under this clause.

Punishment for Sedition

Sedition is punishable under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code. It is not a punishable offence. The penalty under Section 124A can vary from a three-year jail sentence to a life sentence, plus a fine. During the British Raj, the Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1860. Section 124A is found in Chapter VI of the Code, which deals with state offences.

Whoever brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or by any other means, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment for three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine. A person prosecuted under this statute is forbidden from working for the government, must live without a passport, and must appear in court as and when required.

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