Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), has issued the following statement on 10 May, 2022:
‘‘We find with deep indignation that the BJP-led central government has defended in the Supreme Court the highly autocratic penal law on sedition (Section 124A of the IPC) promulgated during the British rule to punish the freedom fighters. During the 75 long years of independence, despite people’s demand, neither the Congress, nor the BJP nor any other ruling dispensation had ever cared to scrap this most atrocious law which confers on the government an absolute and arbitrary power to punish anyone it thinks inimical even up to the extent of life imprisonment. Following continuous abusing of this law by the governments, both central or at the states, a clutch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the clause was filed in the Supreme Court. When a three-judge bench presided by the Chief Justice of India asked the petitioners and the Centre to file their written arguments on the point, the Centre in its written submission held that that instances of abuse of a law can’t be a justification for its reconsideration. The government also upheld the validity of the law as ‘‘long standing, settled’’ and having stood the test of time. But then, on a rethinking, the government, in order to preclude eventuality of the law being annulled by the Supreme Court, informed the Apex Court that it had decided to reconsider and re-examine the law or Section 124A and asked the Court not proceed with the hearing till that time. In other words, the government wants to buy time so that the case automatically dies down.
This surely smacks of a tricky attitude on the part of the BJP government who wants to deceive both the Supreme Court and people as it is determined to muzzle any voice of dissent or protest or even disagreement by invoking black laws that glaringly militate against the very basics of democracy. It is time for the democratic minded right-thinking people including jurists to unitedly rise against such a despotic stand of the BJP government and ensure the repeal of the notorious law.’’