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SC puts Sedition law on hold; directs Centre & State govt not to file new FIRs

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In a recent development, on Wednesday, the Supreme Court puts the Sedition Law on hold , ordering the Centre and state governments to stop filing new FIRs or complaints under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) until the Centre completes its re-examination of the provisions of Section 124A, which criminalises the offence of sedition.

Governments should not use the sedition provision until the Centre completes its review, according to a bench led by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli. The bench issued an interim order saying that no new FIRs should be filed under the sedition provision and that those already in prison can seek relief from the courts.

The Supreme Court ruled that all pending cases, appeals, and proceedings involving sedition charges should be put on hold. “Courts will continue to grant relief to the accused,” it said, setting the third week of July for hearings on pleas challenging the provision’s validity.

The Centre was responding to the Supreme Court, which had asked if it would direct states to put cases under the provision on hold until the reexamination of IPC Section 124A was completed.

Those already facing sedition charges can apply for bail, according to the Supreme Court.

Earlier in the hearing, the Centre suggested that the registration of FIRs for sedition be overseen by a superintendent of police ranked officers.

Previously, on Tuesday, the bench  headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli asked the Centre to state its position on keeping pending sedition cases in abeyance to protect the interests of citizens already arrested and not registering new cases until the government’s re-examination of colonial-era penal law was completed.

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