326 sedition cases filed in India between 2014-9

New Delhi, July 18 (KMS): A total of 326 cases were registered in India under the controversial colonial-era penal law on sedition between 2014 and 2019 involving mostly people from minority groups.

The Indian Supreme Court last week observed that Section 124 (A) of the IPC — offence of sedition — has been enormously misused and asked New Delhi why it was not repealing the provision used by the British to “silence” people like Mahatma Gandhi to suppress the freedom movement, a section of Indian media reported.

According to the Indian Home Ministry data, a total of 326 cases were registered under the sedition law between 2014 and 2019, with the highest 54 cases in Assam. Out of these cases, charge sheets were filed in 141 cases while just six people were convicted for the offence during the six-year period.

The data of 2020 has not been compiled by the home ministry yet, officials said.

In Assam, out of the 54 sedition cases registered, charge sheets were filed in 26 cases and trials were completed in 25 cases. However, there has not been a single conviction in the state in any of the cases between 2014 and 2019, the data says.

Jharkhand has registered 40 cases under Section 124 (A) of IPC during the six years in which charge sheets were filed in 29 cases and trials were completed in 16 cases in which just one person has been convicted.

In Haryana, 31 cases were registered under the sedition law in which charge sheets were filed in 19 cases and trials were completed in six cases in which just one person has been convicted.

Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala have registered 25 cases each. While Bihar and Kerala could not file a charge sheet in any of the cases, Jammu and Kashmir filed a charge sheet in three cases. However, no one was convicted in any of the three states between 2014 and 2019.

As many as 22 sedition cases were filed in Karnataka in which charge sheets were filed in 17 cases, but the trial could be completed in just one case. However, no one was convicted in any case in the period.

A total of 17 sedition cases were filed in Uttar Pradesh and eight in West Bengal between 2014 and 2019. While charge sheets were filed in eight cases in UP and five cases in West Bengal, no one was convicted in the two states.

In Delhi, four sedition cases were registered between 2014 and 2019 but no charge sheet has been filed in any case.

On July 15, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana agreed to examine the pleas filed by the Editors Guild of India and a former major general challenging the Constitutionality of Section 124A (sedition) in the IPC.