Supreme Court says its time to define limits of sedition
A Supreme Court bench said that it was time to define the limits of the sedition law in India while hearing a criminal case on two Telugu media news channels.
The bench, comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat, gave relief to two Telugu-language TV news channels ABN Andhra Jyoti and TV5 in FIRs alleging sedition by the two news channels. The police had filed the FIRs for giving a voice to rebel YSR Congress MP, Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, reported legal news portal Livelaw.in. The parliamentarian had been arrested and after his release, had given interviews to the two news channels, leading to FIRs filed against them.
BarAndBench.com reports that while hearing the case, Justice Chandrachud remarked, "A news report yesterday showed dead body was being thrown into river. I don't know if a sedition case has been filed against the news channel yet."
There are two petitions by journalists challenging the sedition law pending before the Supreme Court. A different bench of the SC had issued noticed to the centre on 30 April 2021 on the two petitions. The petitions had been filed by journalists Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha of Manipur and Kanhaiya Lal Shukla of Chhattisgarh. Sedition cases had been filed against the two scribes; coincidentally both are from two conflict-zone states.
The sedition law was last endorsed by the apex court six decades ago and the two journalists have said that the law (a colonial legcy) may no longer be constitutionally relevant.
The centre is yet to respond to the petition.
Raghu Rama Krishnam Raju