Sedition law has stood the test of time, no need to re-examine its validity: Center to SC | India News


NEW DELHI: Arguing that the six-decade-old verdict of the Supreme Court upholding the validity of Section 124 A is good law and balances constitutional rights and principles viz. needs of the state, the center told the Supreme Court on Saturday that there was no need to reconsider the judgment and opposed removing the sedition provision from the statute book.
In a written submission filed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on whether the batch of petitions challenging the validity of the sedition law should be sent to a constitutional bench, the Center said the 1962 verdict has stood the test of time and needs no reconsideration. Mehta said that the misuse of the provision alleged by the petitioners could never be a ground for nullifying it and that the remedy would be to prevent its misuse.
“The said judgment in Kedar Nath Singh is good law and need not be reconsidered. It should be treated as a binding precedent requiring no reference. A holistic reading of the judgment clearly reveals that the Constitution bench considered the constitutional validity of section 124A from the perspective of all constitutional principles, including the test of sections 14, 19 and 21. The mere fact that sections 14 and 21 are not mentioned would not weaken its judicial conclusion The five justices read Section 124A only to bring it into line with Sections 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution, so no reference would be needed, nor can the three sitting judges re-examine the constitutional validity of the same provision,” the SG said in his brief.
Although the written submission has been filed on the dismissal issue and the Center has not yet filed an affidavit, which it will have to do on Monday, as ordered by SC, but the submission clearly indicates the position of the Center that he is against abolishing the sedition law, a similar to what Attorney General KK Venugopal took days before in court and beat to keep the controversial provision in the law book
Against the allegation that the provision was introduced into law by colonial masters and lost its relevance in an independent country, Mehta said that Kedar Nath Singh was decided after independence and the case was decided with a clear context and experience of how Section 124A used to operate before independence and the Supreme Court had consciously read the provision.
“The ratio in Kedar Nath Singh has been analyzed, tested and subsequently elaborated by this Hon’ble Court in several cases. The latest is the judgment in the Vinod Dua case in 2021. It is a position established in right that a judgment which has stood the test of time and which has been followed not mechanically but in the context of changing circumstances, cannot be easily doubted,” he said.
He said a holistic reading of the 1962 judgment showed that the Constitutional Court had examined the constitutionality from all possible angles and there was no need to reconsider it. He said that in case the court decides to reconsider, it should be done by a wider bench and not by a three-judge bench.
“Cases of abuse of provision would never be a justification for reconsidering a binding judgment from the bench of the constitution. The remedy would be to prevent such abuse on a case-by-case basis rather than to cast doubt on a long-established law declared by a constitution bench for about six decades,” he said.

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