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Current Affairs

Kedar Nath Singh sedition ruling

Date: 07 June 2021 Tags: Judiciary & Judgments

Issue

The Supreme Court of India has quashed sedition charges against journalist Vinod Dua. In doing so, it has cited the 1962 Kedar Nath Singh Judgement.

 

Background

Various cases had been filed against the journalist for making remarks against the Prime Minister regarding the alleged failure to handle Covid-19 crisis.

 

Details

  • The journalist was charged under Section 124A of IPC that allows a person to be punished with imprisonment, a fine or both.

  • The Solicitor General appearing for the Himachal Pradesh government said that the journalist’s misinformation could have created grave panic among the people.

 

Court’s ruling

  • The court had earlier prevented him from being arrested. This time the court completely quashed the case as it felt that the statements were genuine criticism and could not be considered as sedition.

  • To prevent misuse of sedition law, the court has suggested a committee to be formed by the state government that will check if the charges are genuine.

 

Kedar Nath Singh guidelines

  • The Supreme Court had given the Kedar Nath Singh verdict in 1962 while upholding constitutional validity of sedition law.

  • It also tried to restrict the misuse of the law by saying that charges under the law can be framed only if incitement for violence is undertaken and not criticism of government.

 

Effects of the verdict

After the reiteration of guidelines under the Kedar Nath Singh case, the Supreme Court is expected to once again check the constitutionality of the colonial law.