The Supreme Court on Tuesday urged the Centre to tell it by Wednesday if future sedition proceedings can be put on hold till the sedition statute is reconsidered. The matter was set for hearing on Wednesday by the bench.
After the Centre decided to re-examine the legality of Section 124A of the IPC, which criminalises sedition, a bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli asked the Central government what it plans to do about pending and future sedition cases. The court was considering a number of petitions challenging the constitutionality of the sedition law.
Tushar Mehta, the Centre's Solicitor General, said he will address it with the government and urged that rules be established till the government reconsiders the issue.
The Centre told the Supreme Court in a new document on Monday that it has chosen to re-examine and revisit the provisions of Section 124A and has asked the court not to hear the issue until the subject is considered by the government.
At the outset, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urged the Supreme Court that the statute needed revision at the executive level because the nation's sovereignty and integrity are at stake, and that the hearing of the pleas should be postponed.
For the petitioners, senior counsel Kapil Sibal challenged the Centre's request, arguing that the Court should proceed to decide the validity regardless of whether the government is reviewing the provision or not.