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Reviewing The Provision Of Sedition In Indian Penal Code, 1860

Ashutosh Kumar, Assistant Professor, Amity University, Patna, Bihar


Even after independence Indian criminal justice is operating with colonial penal code with slight amendments. As even today we are interpreting the law of sedition with colonial interpretation. We all are witnessing how right to speech and expression often becomes tool of sedition by police which ends in filing of FIR and registering case of sedition. Post independence has rationalized the concept of fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression sacrosanct idea which is often being misinterpreted as Sedition.. Apex Court of India has number of time clarified the interpretation of sedition as an offence to be applied with due care and caution. Even after that there is surge in cases of sedition which is required to be magnified with proper interpretation and identification. Thus balancing the interest of republic democracy requires freedom of fair criticism where state can accept the loophole and work for mandate of welfare governance from idea of social contract theory. Recently increase in charge of sedition against Journalists and common citizens has raised a question on application of colonial provisions attached with offence of sedition which require a sensitive review the law on sedition by state, such that no innocent citizen or journalist can become victim of confusion with respect to interpretation of offence of sedition. At the time of colonial operation the charge of sedition was intentionally applied against Indians, India never witnessed a charge of sedition slapped on British officers or citizen in India is glaring example of intentional application, but today in the time of liberal freedom of speech in independent India this law demands different outlook, different from colonial interpretation. This paper attempt to decode and review the sec 124-A OF IPC which must be interpreted from the idea welfare governance of state defining line of fair criticism rather than applying seditious charge quickly which can victimize a fair criticism resulting miscarriage of Justice.

Keyword: Fair Criticism. Colonial penal code, FIR, Freedom of speech and expression, Sedition


Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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