Scrap sedition law, offensive parts of UAPA: Ex-Supreme Court judge Rohinton Fali Nariman

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Fali Nariman

By Muslim Mirror Staff

Retired Supreme Court Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman on Sunday urged the top court to strike down the sedition law and offensive parts of The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). He said that adding that the colonial decree along with those like the tough anti-terror law UAPA was harmful to the country’s democracy.

“I would exhort the Supreme Court to not send sedition law cases pending before it back to 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 portion of UAPA. Then citizen here would breathe more freely,” said Justice Nariman said while speaking at a function organised by Viswanath Pasayat Memorial Committee.

Speaking at a function organised by the Viswanath Pasayat Memorial Committee. Justice Nariman pointed out that sedition was part of the original draft but not in the final version of the Indian Penal Code drawn up by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay.  It came into force in 1862.

Commenting on the UAPA, he said, “We had China and Pakistan wars. Thereafter, we introduced the draconian legislation, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. UAPA has no anticipatory bail and has minimum five years imprisonment. This Act is not under the scanner yet. This too has to be looked into,” Justice Nariman said.

The sedition law and UAPA have widely been used to suppress voices of marginalised communities including Muslims. Scores of Muslim activists and students are languishing in jails across the country under the provisions of the UAPA.

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