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NCP supremo Sharad Pawar says sedition law must go, days after MVA govt slapped sedition charges against Rana couple

In an affidavit filed to the Bhima Koregaon Commission, Pawar contends that governments have misused Section 124A (sedition law) to stifle dissent, alleging that it is time to repeal the law.

Less than a week after the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra slapped sedition charges against MP Navneet Rana and her husband, Sharad Pawar, the chief of NCP, an alliance partner in the ruling government, has called for the revocation of the sedition law.

In an affidavit filed to the Bhima Koregaon Commission, Pawar contends that governments have misused Section 124A (sedition law) to stifle dissent, alleging that it is time to repeal the law. Besides, he also put forth several amendments in CrPC and IPC to authorise the police and the magistrates to control and prevent riot-like situations and maintain law and order.

Asserting that sedition law was inserted by the Britishers in 1870 to quell the fledgling freedom movement, Pawar said, “However, in recent times this section is often misused against people who criticise the government suppressing their liberty and tend to stifle any dissenting voice that peacefully and democratically expresses their difference of opinion,” he said.

“Therefore, I propose to stop the misuse of Section 124A of IPC by bringing in amendments or repealing the said section,” said Pawar, adding that he is making such a proposal because provisions of the IPC and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) are sufficient for protecting national integrity.

MVA government in Maharashtra slaps sedition charges against Rana couple

However, Pawar’s proposal to scrap the sedition law comes five days after the Maha Vikas Aghadi government booked Amravati MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana under the same law. The police had arrested the duo for trying to recite ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ outside Matoshree in Mumbai, the residence of CM Uddhav Thackeray.

A Mumbai Court had then rejected the couple’s instant bail plea and remanded them in 14-day judicial custody where Navneet Rana was sent to the Byculla women’s jail, while her husband was sent to the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.

The Rana duo were produced before Bandra Court on Sunday, after their police arrest on Saturday from their house. Both of them were booked under Sections 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Section 135 of the Mumbai Police Act (violation of prohibitory orders of police). Public prosecutor Pradip Gharat said that IPC Section 124-A (sedition) is being attracted in this case as the Rana duo allegedly challenged the government machinery and made remarks against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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