Kiren Rijiju is wrong to say Supreme Court did not make adverse observations on draconian sedition law

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Former Home Minister P Chidambaram and India’s current Law Minister Kiren Rijiju were embroiled in a Twitter spat on Saturday over Supreme Court’s observations on the draconian sedition law.
Kiren Rijiju

Taking to Twitter, Chidambaram wrote, “The Minister of Law said that MHA has informed him that there is no proposal to repeal the sedition law (Section 124A). What he did not say was that MHA has proposals to book many innocent people under the sedition law!”

He added, “The Law Minister also said that there is no record of the Supreme Court making any observations on the sedition law. What he did not say was that he does not read newspapers reporting the proceedings of the SC.”

Rijiju wasted no time in reacting to Chidambaram’s tweet and said that media reporting did not mean India’s top court had indeed made av=dverse observations on the controversial law, which has allowed the Narendra Modi government to jail its detractors.

Rijiju wrote, “How many thousand sedition cases were slapped on people by Congress Govt? Law Minister may not read newspaper but Law Minister knows that media reports do not become part of official Depart records. Hon’ble SC is aware of how to make observations & how to pass formal orders!”

In July this year, Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana, had indeed made scathing observations over the misuse of the sedition law. Ramana had said that sedition was being misused by the authorities to trample upon citizens’ fundamental rights of free speech and liberty.

Ramana-led Supreme Court Bench, according to NDTV, had said, “There is enormous misuse. The use of sedition is like giving a saw to the carpenter to cut a piece of wood and he uses it to cut the entire forest itself. That is the effect of this law.”

BJP governments up and down the country have routinely jailed political activists and journalists under the law for merely discharging their duties.