Bogey of sedition – Editorial
In two judgments this week, the Supreme Court has stood up for the media’s right to criticise or comment on the government’s functioning – so long as there is no incitement to violence or any intention of creating public disorder….
It’s disturbing that sedition cases slapped against journalists and activists are on the rise in recent years. However, most of these cases don’t have a leg to stand on in a court of law as these are largely coercive tactics aimed at silencing dissent and criticism. No wonder their conviction rate, which was 33 per cent in 2016, dropped to just 3 per cent in 2019.
It is hoped that the latest judgments will encourage mediapersons to do their job fearlessly and at the same time deter law enforcement agencies from lodging sedition FIRs at the drop of a hat. The verdicts should also serve to caution the powers that be to avoid reducing the law to a terrorising tool.