In a media statement, JIH Vice President, Prof. Salim Engineer has affirmed that this landmark interim order will effectively keep the law in abeyance. He said, “the sedition law has been frequently misused by various Central and State governments against innocent citizens whose views are critical of the government. It is a relic of the colonial era and ‘is not in tune with the current social milieu’.” He hopes that the government of India will ensure that the law is removed from the statute books altogether.
The JIH Vice President has urged the apex court to look into the selective use of laws like the UAPA, which is also being misused by governments to stifle dissent and the freedom to criticize. “In addition, it is the law enforcement machinery and the police that are to a large extent responsible for misusing these penal laws thereby making them draconian. There must be some legislation to create accountability for the police officers, thereby ensuring that anyone found guilty of misusing the law be liable to be punished,” he added.