On May 5, a bench led by Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli announced that arguments on the legal question of whether the applications challenging the colonial-era penal legislation on sedition should be sent to a larger bench would be heard on May 10.
The Centre on Monday requested the Supreme Court not to waste time scrutinising the constitutional viability of the sedition penal statute, claiming that it has decided to re-examine and re-consider the provision, which can only be done before a competent venue.
On May 5, a bench led by Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli announced that it would hear arguments on May 10 on the legal question of whether the petitions challenging the colonial-era penal law on sedition should be referred to a larger bench for reconsideration of the Kedar Nath Singh case’s 1962 verdict by a five-judge constitution bench.
The government has chosen to “re-examine and re-consider the provisions of Section 124A of the IPC, which can only be done before the competent forum,” according to an affidavit filed by a Ministry of Home Affairs employee.
“In view of the…, it is respectfully submitted that this Hon’ble court may not invest time in examining the validity of section 124A of the IPC once again and be pleased to await the exercise of reconsideration to be undertaken by the Government of India before an appropriate forum where such reconsideration is constitutionally permitted,” the affidavit said.
The Centre defended the penal law and the 1962 verdict of a constitution bench upholding its validity in another written submission filed on Saturday, claiming that they have stood “the test of time” for more than six decades and that instances of its abuse would never be a justification for reconsideration.
A slew of petitions contesting the constitutionality of the sedition law have been heard by the Supreme Court.
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