Plotting against your country and its democratically elected government is a serious matter. An attempt to do so and even helping those working on such a plot can amount to a serious offence. After all, trying to destabilise a government established by law has serious connotations. If one is trying to destabilise the government, it may mean that you are trying to destroy a system in place. System governed by democratic principles.
Indian Constitution hence is strict about dealing with such elements that are detrimental to unity and integrity of the nation.
Section 124A of Indian Penal Code (Sedition) says,
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 in [India], [...] shall be punished with [imprisonment for life], to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine. Explanation 1.—The expression “disaffection” includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity. Explanation 2.—Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section. Explanation 3.—Comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.
As it is clear from the explanation above, the offence of sedition can put a person in jail for life. That's not all, the person convicted of sedition may be slapped with a heavy financial penalty. That means not only the person remains in jail for life, monetary fine means that whatever financial resources he/she may have left can be taken away by the state. This may mean that his family may suffer as well.
This is how strict the law is.
Sedition law is being discussed again because of Sharjeel Imam.
Ex-JNU student and activist Sharjeel Imam, accused of sedition, was arrested from Bihar's Jehanabad on Tuesday. The arrest was made by Delhi police crime branch. Imam was slapped with sedition charges for delivering inflammatory speeches against the amended Citizenship Act and the planned National Register of Citizens.
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