A case has been filed against Congress president Rahul Gandhi for promising to abolish Article 124A (Sedition) of the Indian Penal Code in his partyâ€™s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections 2019. The case has been filed by a lawyer named Narendra Sharma in Agraâ€™s CJM court, according to news agency ANI.
The Congress party, in its 55-page manifesto for general elections, had promised to abolish the British-era law, saying that the law has been "misused" and become "redundant because of subsequent laws".
Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) defines the offense of 'sedition'. It states, "Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added."
#Agra: A case has been filed by lawyer Narendra Sharma in CJM Court against Congress President Rahul Gandhi for promising in Congress manifesto to abolish Section 124A (Sedition) of the Indian Penal Code. (06.04) pic.twitter.com/1SqMzt1VWTâ€” ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 7, 2019
The Congress party's promise to strike down the Section 124A has met with severe criticism by the BJP, which has often been accused of misusing the Sedition law to harass political opponents. Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress and accused the party of preaching the world.
â€œThis Congress party put over 6000 people behind the bar on sedition charges. Why? Now they are preaching the world. Do you want to encourage things like 'desh ke tukre tukre'. Do you want someone to trample India's flag, insult India's national anthem...continue to break Baba Saheb Ambedkar's statue? What will you do to stop such things," Modi asked.
The prime minister said that it was the Congress who implemented the law and instead of reviewing the law, the party kept its eyes closed. "You (Congress) want to remove it but it's you who implemented it. You should have reviewed it but decided to keep your eyes closed. No one in the world wants that nation should be converted into a jail. But you should try to improve the situation as we did in Arunachal Pradesh. But removing the law, changing the law, speaking the language of tukde-tukde gang... how will the country run," the prime minister said.