BJP wants to make sedition law more ‘draconian’, sending message it’ll be used against opposition: Congress

New Delhi, June 03, 2023 (PPI-OT):The Congress party has said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to make sedition law more draconian and has given a message ahead of the next year general election that it will be used in a one-sided manner, particularly against the opposition leaders.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the Congress said this a day after the Indian Law Commission recommended that the (Indian Penal Code) IPC’s Section 124A (sedition) should not only be retained but also made harsh.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi said, “In a terrible, tragic, and treacherous development, the Law Commission has recommended that Section 124A of the IPC should not only be retained, but also made more harsh.”

He said, the BJP uses the law of sedition as a tool of subversing, subjugating, and silencing dissent. He said, the BJP government now plans to become more draconian, drastic, and deadly than the colonial regime.

Singhvi said a message of colonial mindset has been given that there will be a distance between the ruler and the ruled and through this law, the foundations of the republic will be uprooted. “A message has been given ahead of the general election that we will use this in a one-sided manner particularly against opposition leaders,” he claimed.

The Congress spokesperson maintained that in a nutshell, the Law Commission proposal makes the existing sedition law far more draconian, invasive and prejudicial by enhancing the lower end of the punishment from three to seven years.

His remarks came a day after the Law Commission, in its report to the government, said it is of the view that Section 124A needs to be retained, though certain amendments could be introduced to bring about greater clarity regarding usage of the provision and stressed that sedition being a “colonial legacy” is not a valid ground for its repeal.

Slamming the BJP, Singhvi, who is also a Member of Rajya Sabha (upper house of Indian Parliament), said: “There has been a massive rise in sedition cases since 2014 with an annual rise of 28 per cent in sedition cases for the period between 2014 and 2020, compared to the yearly average between 2010 and 2014.”

He pointed out that 12 sedition cases were filed during the pandemic against those who raised concerns over lack of ventilators, food distribution or handling of the issue of migrant labourers.

“In total, 21 sedition cases were filed against journalists. Since 2018, they have been arrested for reportage on the farm laws, Covid-19, the Hathras gang rape, citizenship and for being critical of the government,” he said. 27 sedition cases were filed against those who protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and the National Register for Citizens, while eight cases were filed against the farmers protesting the now revoked farm laws, he added.

Singhvi asked why the BJP government has not yet had the courage to do away with the sedition law despite the top court rendering it inoperative and making strong observations in that regard.

He also questioned as to why have the cases of sedition imposed only on the opposition leaders and dissidents, and how many BJP leaders have been charged under the law. He also asked that why the government has not changed its “control freak” style and not been able to shed its colonial mindset.

For more information, contact:

Kashmir Media Service

Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549

Fax: +92-51-4861736

Email: info@kmsnews.org

Website: www.kmsnews.org

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