New Delhi: The direction to re-examine and reconsider the provisions of the sedition law came directly from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government will also ‘suitably’ take into account the views of stakeholders and ensure the sovereignty and integrity of the country is preserved while looking into Section 124A of the IPC, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said Monday. Kiren Rijiju said he feels that it is a ‘bold’ step taken by the government. He is of the view that making laws is the responsibility of the government.
“Since directions have come from the prime minister, since we are doing it (re-examining and re-considering sedition law provisions), we have told the court (Supreme Court) through an affidavit, court may not get involved,” Rijiju said.
The law minister told reporters here that Prime Minister Modi expressed his view clearly in favour of protection of civil liberties, respect for human rights and giving meaning to constitutional freedoms. The government has also taken various steps to remove outdated laws and has scrapped over 1,500 legislations since 2014-15, Rijiju pointed out.
“Having considered the concerns related to civil liberties and the government’s commitment to maintaining and protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the nation, the prime minister has directed to re-examine and reconsider the provision of Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” Rijiju said.
“…The government will reconsider and change the provisions as per the need of the present time. Because there are lots of views coming up,” Rijiju said on the sedition law.
The government told Monday the Supreme Court not to invest time in examining the validity of the sedition law as it has decided to go for reconsideration of the provisions by a ‘competent forum’.
The Centre also said it was cognizant of various views and concerns about civil liberties while being committed to protecting the ‘sovereignty and integrity of this great nation’. Sources in the government said the process may include consultations with the civil society.