Anti-India slogans not always seditious: Legal experts on JNU row

New  Delhi: As political parties engage in a strongly-heated debate over the arrest of JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar for sedition, legal experts warn the Delhi Police are likely to have a tough time to prove the charges. Merely raising anti-establishment slogans would not be seditious unless the spoken words or actions are aimed to incite a mob or crowd to resort to violence, they explain.

Kumar has been accused of organizing a public meet at the university campus on February 9. Police case states the meeting was about hanging of Afzal Guru, convicted in the Parliament Attack case, and during the course some persons including Kumar raised “incendiary slogans.”

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran says the case against Kumar has to be within the parameters SC has laid down on the issue. “The police has to prove that Kumar made an attempt to incite a mob against the government. If it doesn’t stand the test then the case has to be quashed at the threshold,” he felt.

Supreme Court Ruling 1962

“…words and speech can be criminalised and punished only in situations where it is being used to incite mobs or crowds to violent action. Mere words and phrases by themselves, no matter how distasteful, do not amount to a criminal offence unless this condition is met,”

-more at Hindustan Times


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