Sedition, under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code states that any act which might lead to the insurrection of the current system. However, it does not include helping enemies, but rather to stir up a rebellion to change the system. Currently the charges against Binayak Sen, a rights activist are the same. Binayak Sen is serving life term imprisonment since 2007, under the High Court of Chattisgarh’s judgment. The case is pending before the Supreme Court, which will be heard in March 11.
Now the question arises of what should be held as sedition, and what cases may be excused. Over the last few years, various awards have been given to this person, and moreover, he is an activist who has devoted his life to help the people in rural areas rather than earning big bucks in the city. Under these circumstances, where people all over the world are supporting him, excuses have to be made.
Sedition is one of the grave offences, and there is hardly any mercy, but it also clashes with freedom of speech. If a person does not have that much right to express his views in public on some topic, then what is the role of freedom of speech or is it just to show that we have it as a Fundamental Right?
There should be a separate sedition act which would give clear rules, and the exceptions to it. Especially in a case like Binayak Sen, an excuse needs to be given. In such cases, rather than giving imprisonment, they may be deported to other parts of the country, or in a different country, and monitored. However, imprisonment is not the right method in cases where the person is a leader of the people, and he has not said anything drastically against the government giving rise to revolt around the country.