Sedition used against people critical against Govt: Sr Journo

Guwahati: Senior Journalist Sashi Kumar has told the Supreme Court of India that the Government is applying sedition law against journalists, activists, filmmakers, and civil society in a ‘politicized fashion’ every time they are critical to the government.

Sashi Kumar’s application was filed by the advocates, Kaleeswaram Raj, Nishe Rajen Shonker, and Thulasi K Raj, and mentioned the cases of climate activist Disha Ravi, filmmaker Aisha Sultana and journalists Vinod Dua and Siddique Kappan in this regard.

The application read, “There has been a dramatic jump in charging a person with the offense of sedition since 2016. In 2019, 93 cases were on the ground of sedition as compared to the 35 cases that were filed in 2016. The same constitutes a 165% increase. Of these 93 cases, charge sheets were filed in a mere 17% of cases, and even worse, the conviction rate was an abysmally low 3.3%.”

It has been further reported that 21 cases were closed due to no evidence, among them two were closed being the false cases, and six cases held to be civil disputes

The application also read, “The vague and overboard nature of the provision also has a chilling effect on the right to free speech. The provision is a classic example of a punitive law imposing serious burdens on the right to freedom of speech.”


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