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Sedition Law used to Suppress Dissent

Freedom of speech and expression is one of the six fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution of India. It is guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) , enlisted in Part III of the constitution. The constitution (first amendment) act 1951, made a provision limiting Article 19(1)(a) of constitution against abuse of ‘freedom of speech and expression.’ This amendment was made after the delivery of landmark judgement of Romesh Thappar v. The state of madras. This article recognizes one’s right to communicate their views and opinions freely through any medium eg: by means of mouth, by writing, printing, movie, art etc. This right is indispensable in a democracy. The basis of a free society is an unhampered development of words within an open forum. It is imperative to exercise this right to avoid state suppression and check the powers of the state. Each right comes along with some restrictions in order to prevent misuse.

Hence, article 19(2) came into picture. One of the restriction mentioned under article 19 (2) is sedition. Section 124A of the IPC deals with sedition. It is a non-bailable offence and and punishable with minimum imprisonment of up to three years to a maximum of life term, along with payment of fine.