Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman who is a former Supreme Court judge has urged the Supreme Court to declare Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the offensive parts of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 as unconstitutional.
The former judge had retired from the Supreme Court in August of 2020. While speaking at a function organized by the Viswananth Pasayat Memorial Committee he stated that “I would exhort the supreme court to not send sedition law cases pending before it back to the Centre. Governments will come and go (but) it is important for the court to use its power and strike down Section 124A and the offensive portions of UAPA. Then citizens here would breathe more freely."
The retired Justice noted that India’s rank in the global law index is 142 as a result of this draconian and ancient law which has existed since colonial times and does not hold any relevance in today’s time.
In order to substantiate the same, the Justice stated that two journalists from the Phillipines have won the award while India holds a very low rank in this area.
UAPA - UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES (PREVENTION) ACT, 1967
It was stated by the Justice that the draconian law of the UAPA was added after the wars with China and Pakistan. This law has been referred to as draconian by the Justice as it does not provide any anticipatory bail and has imprisonment of at least 5 years. It was further stated that the act is not even under the scanner and that it needs to be analysed as well in order to provide the citizens with the freedom to speak.