Legal eagles divided over sedition charges on MP residents celebrating Pakistan victory
New Delhi June 20 (IANS) Legal experts are divided whether celebrating Pakistan s victory over India in Champions Trophy final on Sunday attract sedition charges or not with some holding that it is not crime while others term it an anti-national act.
The issue came into focus after at least 15 members of a community were arrested on sedition charges in Madhya Pradesh s Burhanpur district for celebrating Pakistan s victory against India.
Noted lawyer and human right activist Vrinda Grover said that the 15 people have not committed any crime under the Indian laws and described the police act as an abuse of power.
This is clear case of the abuse of the power by the Madhya Pradesh Police. The accused did not commit any criminal offence she said.
She said that there was no law and order problem over the celebration.
The people were celebrating victory of another country. Police can only look into a crime and police are not inquired what people are doing or not she said
But senior advocate Aman Lekhi referred the invocation of sedition charges as appropriate and necessary.
The people were passionately and shamelessly celebrating victory of the hostile country. If the sedition will not slapped on the people like them then it is worthless section he said holding police has taken right steps by arresting the people.
He said that act this sedition was added in the law to keep people disciplined and to show their commitment and loyalty towards the country.
As per Section 124 A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) 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 will fall under sedition charges.
Whoever convicted under sedition charges shall be punished with imprisonment for life fine or with imprisonment which may extend to three years.
Advocate Shailendra Babbar who has appeared as public prosecutor in various cases in Delhi termed the act of celebrating Pakistan s victory as anti-national.
The celebration with pro-Pakistan slogans has affected the society at large. the slogans was against the government establishment he said.
However noted criminal lawyer M.S. Khan asked whether anyone celebrating the victory of England and Australia over India will be booked under the same charges or not.
He said the expression related to celebrating victory of another country does not include the gradients of sedition charges -- disaffection and disloyalty.
The act also did not show hate towards the government established by law.
Moreover it was a celebration he said adding that the act does not incite any violence in that locality.