Retired Judge MB Lokur UAPA: Former Supreme Court judge MB Lokur on Saturday said the May 11 order of the apex court on sedition is significant. At the same time, he also expressed concern over the misuse of a provision of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). In the program ‘Azadi from sedition’, the former judge tried to explain the meaning of the interim order passed by the apex court. The top court has stayed all proceedings under the pre-independence sedition law in the country till an appropriate government forum re-examines it and directed that the Center and the state cannot cite any offense Will not register a new FIR.
Lokur said, “I don’t know what the government will do about the sedition provision. But in my opinion it will remove it. But equally worrying is a parallel provision of Section 13 in the UAPA which says that whoever comes to India Wants or intends to create dissatisfaction against.”
it would be like going from bad to worse
He said, “In sedition it is discontent against the government but in the UAPA provision it is discontent against India, that’s the only difference. There were some exceptions in sedition where charges of sedition cannot be invoked but under Section 13 of the UAPA there is no There are no exceptions. If this provision remains in place, it will be like going from worst to worse.” The former judge said that what the state sees as dissent is not clearly defined, it is very dangerous as it is difficult to get bail under the UAPA. He said the Supreme Court, in its May 11 order, had stayed investigation in sedition cases and put all pending cases and proceedings under the sedition law on hold across the country.
What else did the former judge say?
The former judge said, “This status quo is a disadvantageous part on the pending trial across the country and all the proceedings under the sedition law. Suppose a person who is innocent but a false case has been registered against him under the sedition law and is wanted That the trial is completed, then he will have to wait for some time.” “Similarly, if someone is convicted under sedition and has filed an appeal against his conviction, he too will have to wait till such status quo is lifted,” he said.
Status quo order can create problems – Lokur
Lokur said it would have been better if the apex court had not ordered this status quo and instead a mechanism should have been devised to provide relief to such people. She referred to young environmental activist Disha Ravi, whose passport was withheld and she could not attend a summit in Copenhagen because she was charged with sedition. Lokur, the former judge, said, “Those who are facing the provision of sedition need some protection, because if their trial is stayed they will have to wait indefinitely for the judgment to come. This status quo The order may create some problems.”
In the Patthargarhi movement, 11,109 people have been accused of sedition.
Lawyer-activist Vrinda Grover, who appeared in the top court on behalf of two women journalists Patricia Mukhim and Anuradha Bhasin in the sedition case, also termed the May 11 order as significant. Grover said that petitioners like Mukhim and Bhasin are of the view that the sedition law affects the freedom of the press and stopping it is an important step. Human rights activist Gladson Dungdung referred to the Patthargarhi movement in tribal areas of Jharkhand, which she claimed had accused 11,109 people of sedition.
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