Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Maharashtra government withdraws controversial circular on sedition law

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday withdrew the controversial circular on sedition law, which says that charges can be imposed on anybody who, by words, signs or visible representation, criticises politicians or elected representatives belonging to the government.

The state government informed Bombay High Court that it had withdrawn its controversial circular on sedition law.

The Bombay High Court had on October 20 extended its interim order restraining state government from acting on its controversial circular issued to prevent misuse of IPC section 124-A which deals with sedition.
The circular had drawn flak from the Opposition parties. Congress and NCP leaders had lashed out at the Fadnavis government, terming the guidelines as regressive and alleging that these would be used to stifle criticism of the BJP-led government.

The petitioner Narendra Sharma had contended that the circular dated August 27 amounts to violation of the fundamental rights of a person and sought the High Court's direction to quash and set it aside.
The circular had asks police to bear in mind that the sedition clause of IPC can be invoked against whoever, by "words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, dissatisfaction and provoking violence" against the central or state government.

Cartoonist Trivedi was arrested on September 8, 2012, on the basis of an FIR under section 124-A (sedition) and other provisions of IPC for cartoons published on 'India Against Corruption' website. However, on a PIL, Bombay HC had granted him bail.

Amnesty International had said that a circular issued by the government is "overly broad" and demonstrates why it must be "urgently repealed."

It is good to note that good sense has dawned on the BJP government in MH. 
This was probably a bit of kit-flying by Modi to see the reaction of the people to the note.
If the people had accepted it without murmur, Modi would have done the same at the centre.
We are seeing how the Beef policing has moved from the states to Delhi.

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