In a petition filed by the Journalist Union of Assam, Supreme Court directs governments to not use Section 124A

It is official. The Supreme Court has stayed the operation of Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) which criminalises speech that excites or attempts to excite ‘disaffection, hatred or contempt’ against the Government established by law. Through its interim order dated May 11, 2022 (‘Order’), which goes a long way in protecting the freedom of speech and expression across the country, the Supreme Court has also put in abeyance all ongoing prosecutions under Section 124-A. This Order was issued in a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Section 124-A, one of which was the petition filed by the Journalist of Union of Assam (‘JUA’). Over the past two weeks, the Supreme Court extensively heard the counsels of the petitioners, including Mr Chander Uday Singh, Senior Advocate, who represented JUA, before passing this historic order.

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