New Delhi: The arrest of JNUSU leader Kanhaiya Kumar over sedition charges has snowballed into a major political controversy. He has been charged under Section 124A of Indian Penal code.
Sedition as defined under IPC Section 124 A 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."
However, Several Indians in the past have been charged under this act.
The National Crime Records Bureau started collecting data on 'offences against the state'* only since 2014.
The NCRB report says 512 cases of total offences against the state were reported in 2014, of which 176 offences were registered under Sec 121 A, 122,123 and 124 A IPC.Of these 47 were sedition cases.
Offences against the State comes under sections 121, 121A, 122, 123 & 124-A IPC) and offences promoting enmity between different groups (under sections 153A & 153 B IPC).
Here is a list of 8 famous people who were charged with sedition in 21 century:
1) Kanhaiya Kumar: The JNUSU leader is facing sedition charges for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during a controversial event on parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. His arrest has triggered a political storm with swords drawn between right wingers and left wingers.
2) Hardik Patel: Last month Gujarat crime branch filed chargesheet against patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel and his five associates and accused them of sedition.
3) Aseem Trivedi: Kanpur-based artist was charged with sedition for 'offensive' cartoons. He was accused of putting up banners mocking the Constitution during a rally of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare in Mumbai. He was also accused of putting up banners mocking the Constitution during a rally of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare in Mumbai late last year and posting the same on his website.
4) Binayak Sen*: A pediatrician by profession, Sen Was accused of sedition by Chhattisgarh govt for allegedly supporting Naxalites.He, however, was granted bail on April 15, 2011, by the Supreme Court of India which said that no evidence of sedition was produced against the accused by the Chhattisgarh government.
5) Arundhati Roy*: Roy, Hurriyat leader Syed Geelani and others booked on charges of sedition by Delhi Police for their "anti-India" speech at a seminar in 2010.The filing of the FIR came following a directive from a local court on a petition filed by Sushil Pandit who alleged that Geelani and Roy made anti-India speeches at a conference on "Azadi-the Only Way" on October 21, 2010.Reacting to the court order, Roy had said that perhaps they should "posthumously file a charge against Jawaharlal Nehru" and cited 14 instances where the first Prime Minister has said about "the question of accession in any disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with wishes of people".
6) Praveen Togadia*:Rajasthan govt slapped sedition charges on the Fire brand VHP leader in 2003 after he defied a state ban distributing tridents to Bajrang Dal members. The charges include an attempt "to wage a war against the nation." As of August 2013, Togadia had faced 19 criminal cases for making hate speeches, the maximum number of such cases for any one in the country.
7) Simranjit Singh Mann: The Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar president was as charged with four different cases of sedition. Mann had raised pro-Khalistan slogans on June 6, 2005 in the golden temple complex on the 21st anniversary of Operation Blue Star. Mann was named in the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, but investigations could not substantiate the charges and hence he was not prosecuted in that case
8) Akbaruddin Owaisi: Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi was slapped with the charge of sedition by the district police of Karimnagar, for the purported hate speech he delivered at Nirmal on December 22, 2012.