A National Webinar on ‘The Constitutionality of Sedition Law in India’ was conducted on 21st May 2022 by the Department of Constitutional Law and Administrative Law in association with the Centre for Constitutional Law Studies and Research, KIIT Law School (KLS). In his webinar talk, Mr. Satya Pal Jain, Addl. Solicitor General of India, Fmr. MP and Part-time Member of the 21st Law Commission of India deliberated on the legal challenges to the provision of sedition. He explained how the security interests and integrity of the State is balanced on one hand, and the civil liberties of citizens on the other.
In his informative talk, Mr. Jain went on to state that sedition must not be equated to mere criticism or difference of opinion with the government of the country rather, it must only be invoked in a situation when the ‘Lakshman Rekha’, i.e., the threshold is crossed. He was also of the view that mere misuse of a law by some authorities must not lead to its repeal, in a situation when there is an independent and powerful judiciary which plays a pro-active role in safeguarding the rights and liberties of the individuals.
Moreover, he added that in order to curtail the misuse of this law, the Government of India was directed by the Supreme Court to revisit the working of this provision. Hence, there is a probability that there will be more practical safeguards that the Committee will be suggesting and looking upon. Mr. Jain differentiated between the ‘State’ and the ‘Government’ by quoting Bhishma Pitamaha from Mahabharata.
Mr. Yogesh Mishra, Assistant Professor, KIIT-DU, delivered the welcome speech and Mr. Shashank Nande, Assistant Professor, KIIT-DU summarized the talk and proposed vote of thanks.