326 sedition cases filed during 2014-19, but only 6 convictions

326 sedition cases filed during 2014-19, but only 6 convictions

Photo for representational purpose only

Mukesh Ranjan

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 18

At a time when the Supreme Court has raised questions about Section 124 (A) of the IPC, which deals with the offence of sedition, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data reveal that 326 such cases were registered in the country between 2014 and 2019 with only six convictions.

Last week, the SC observed that Section 124 (A) of the IPC had been enormously misused and asked the Centre why it was not repealing the provision used by the British to “silence” people like Mahatma Gandhi to suppress the freedom movement. The court said its main concern was the “misuse of law” leading to the rise in the number of cases.

Showing an increasing trend in the number of cases with sedition charges, the NCRB data revealed that FIRs filed under the law were 47 in 2014, 30 in 2015, 35 in 2016, 51 in 2017, 70 in 2018 and 93 in 2019 with the highest 54 in Assam.

Of the total 326 cases, chargesheets were filed in 141, while just six persons were convicted for sedition in six years. Jharkhand reported the second highest number (40) of such cases during that period. Chargesheets were filed in 29 cases, trial completed in 16 and only one person was convicted. In Haryana, 31 cases were registered under the sedition law, chargesheets were filed in 19 and trial completed in six cases with only one conviction.

Bihar, Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir saw 25 such cases each. While no chargesheet was filed in any such case in Bihar and Kerala, three chargesheets were filed in Jammu and Kashmir. However, no one was convicted in any of the three states.

One sedition case each was filed in Maharashtra (in 2015), Punjab (2015) and Uttarakhand (2017). No sedition case was filed in states and UTs of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli during that period.

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