Lawstreet Journal

“Journalists are entitled to protection against sedition,” says Supreme Court

Lawstreet Journal 9 Jun 2021 12:25am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary “Journalists are entitled to protection against sedition,” says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India on Thursday, June 03, 2021, quashed a sedition case registered against senior journalist and Padma Shri awardee Vinod Dua for his critical remarks against the Prime Minister and the Union government. The court affirmed that the “strong words” of disapproval against the ruling regime did not amount to sedition.

The court rejected the plea to direct State Governments to constitute committees to conduct preliminary inquiry before the FIRs are registered against senior journalists. The bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran observed that taking any measure as such would amount to encroachment upon the field reserved for the legislature.

However, the court clarified that, every journalist will be provided protection in terms of Kedar Nath Singh (1962) judgement, which said, “commenting in strong terms upon the measures or acts of government, or its agencies, so as to ameliorate the condition of the people or to secure the cancellation or alteration of those acts or measures by lawful means, that is to say, without exciting those feelings of enmity and disloyalty which imply excitement to public disorder or the use of violence is not sedition.”

The 1962 judgment said, Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (sedition) was intended only to punish subversion of a lawfully established government through violent means.

The bench stated that the petitioner is asking the constitution of a committee completely outside the scope of statutory framework. After referring to various other subsequent judgements, the court observed, “we are conscious… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Vinod Dua   Supreme Court of India  
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