Senior TMC chief Mahua Moitra, who has been on the forefront in combating towards the sedition legislation, claimed the BJP-led Centre is “not keen on revoking the draconian legislation” and will as an alternative amend it.
The TMC MP’s remark got here a day after the Supreme Court in a landmark order on Wednesday placed on maintain the controversial sedition legislation until the Centre completes a promised evaluate of the colonial relic and in addition requested the central and state governments to not register any recent case invoking the act.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana had directed that ongoing probes, pending trials and all proceedings underneath the sedition legislation throughout the nation can even be stored in abeyance.
Those in jail on sedition prices might method the court docket for bail, it stated.
Moitra, who had been one of many writ petitioners within the case, stated, “had the Centre been serious in reconsidering the law, it could have done it in the last eight years”.
The TMC MP can be of the opinion that the “draconian” Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act must be scrapped.
“This is a improbable verdict. I’m actually blissful. This shouldn’t be my struggle or your struggle. This is the victory of Indian constitutional democracy. Any civilized society has no place for such a colonial-era sedition legislation which dates again to 1870 and was meant to throttle the voices of Indians.
“It is not meant for an elected Indian government to muzzle the voices of the country’s citizens today,” she advised PTI in a telephonic interview.
Moitra, who was among the many petitioners who had challenged the sedition legislation, stated there have been cheap restrictions relating to the utilization of the legislation, which have now “gone for a toss under the present regime”.
“The government is saying that they would put reasonable restrictions, but these were already there. That did not stop them from slapping sedition charges against Munawar Faruqui or arresting Siddique Kappan or others… there are 13,000 such cases in the country,” she stated.
The TMC MP stated the Centre could also be “using the term reconsider because there is a chance to bring in an amendment” as an alternative of revoking the legislation.
“The government doesn’t like dissent, comedy, free opposition, so obviously it is a great tool as the sedition law allowed authorities to arrest without a warrant,” she stated, including “if they wanted to get rid of the law, they could have used the term revoke. They could have done it in the last eight years”.
Moitra stated the one fig leaf that the federal government has to cover behind (in retaining the legislation in some kind) is the nationwide safety.
“Whether it is data protection, the UAPA, or everything that is unconstitutional, the only fig leaf that they have to hide behind is the national security. Tell me what national security is (compromised) if Munnawar Farroqui cracks a joke? “There is a huge trust deficit between the civil society and the present BJP-led dispensation at the Centre. I do not believe that the government will do it on its own, which is why we have moved the court,” she stated.
Moitra additionally stated that the UAPA legislation must be scrapped. “When the Unlawful law Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 was debated in Parliament, I had opposed it. I think this too should go,” she stated.