Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, “Listening to the truth is one’s duty. Crushing the truth is arrogance. Don’t be afraid.”
Supreme Court’s historic order on Wednesday to pause the 152-year old archaic sedition law today has drawn several reactions from political leaders cutting across party lines.
Here’s who said what:
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said: “We’ve made our position very clear and also informed the court about the intention of our PM (Prime Minister Narendra Modi). We respect the court and its independence. But there’s a ‘Lakshman Rekha’ that must be respected by all organs of the state in letter and spirit. We have to ensure that we respect the provisions of the Indian Constitution as well as existing laws.”
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said: “Telling the truth is patriotism, not treason. Listening to the truth is one’s duty. Crushing the truth is arrogance. Don’t be afraid.”
Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “Free speech will not be throttled by autocrats and dictators masquerading as rulers.”
BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya said: “In 1962, a five judge bench had upheld the Sedition Law. Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister. A three judge bench of the Supreme Court looking into the matter couldn’t have overruled it had GoI, on the instruction of PM Modi, not filed an affidavit seeking time to reassess.”
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra said: “Victory! Supreme Court stays Sec 124A- no new cases can be filed, existing cases can apply for bail & release immediately. Great day for democracy.”
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said: “Salute to the SC for this fine interim order preventing the rampant misuse of the sedition law.”
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said: “If our country continues to slap sedition charges on students, activists and journalists, our situation will become worse than Sri Lanka. I hope that the BJP learns a lesson from the neighbouring country and stop communal tensions and majoritarianism.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury: “It (sedition) is anachronistic brought in by the British to crush our freedom struggle and it has no place in the statute book in independent India. It is good that the Supreme Court, hearing this case, has now ordered that this section must be kept in abeyance, stayed all pending proceedings, and directed the central and state governments not to register new cases…since the BJP government came to office in 2014, at least 326 people have been arrested under this law and only six of them were convicted. This is the gross abuse of the law that is happening under the Modi government. The sedition law should be scrapped. We hope the court does this when it resumes the hearing in July.”