Law of Sedition and Its Activities in India


Section 124A of IPC dealt with Sedition as— 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.

The sedition law is a lot of abused in the current Scenario, as we can easily saw that sedition was invoked when certain slogans were raised insulting India in one of their events while from inner soul, we all know very well that, mere slogans that were raised did not have the intensity to overthrow the government and still sedition was invoked against them.


There are some following ingredients or essential components u/s 124A establishes sedition:-

1. Bringing or endeavoring to bring into hatred;

2. Exciting or endeavoring to energize the disrespect against the Government of India;

3. Such type of act or endeavor might be done

  • By words, either spoken or written, or
  • By signs, or
  • By visual representation; and

4. The act or demonstration must be intentional.


  • Cognizable offense: Sedition is a cognizable offense, which implies that, the police can arrest an individual who is accused for sedition without requiring any warrant for the same.
  • Non-bailable offense: Sedition is a non-bailable offense, which implies that, an accused individual arrested for sedition can’t be released on bail by the police because bail is not an issue of his right for this offence. He needs to apply for bail before a court or a magistrate which act as the watchful eye of a court or the justice.
  • Non-compoundable offense: Sedition is a non-compoundable offense, which implies that it can’t be settled or compromised between the accused and the person in question.
  • Penal action or Damages: According to Section 124A of the IPC, an accused individual convicted or indicted for sedition is punishable with either imprisonment ranging from 3 years to a lifetime or fine, or both as deem fit in the interest of justice.

Defences of Sedition Law:

There are the following defences available to get the exemption from the Punishment u/s 124A:

  1. That he didn’t make the sign or visual representation or not spoken or written those words, or not done any act or demonstration for which being he referred to the complaint or case.
  2. He didn’t act or endeavor into the hatred or disaffection.
  3. Such disaffection or disrespect not ought to be towards the Government.

The need for Sedition Law:

There is a need for Section 124A in our Society due to the following reasons:

  1. Ensure and save the soundness of the Government
  2. Prevent speech and expression that aims to cause public disorder
  3. Guarantee that national integrity, dignity, and security of Nation
  4. Discipline for unfriendly exercises made by rebel gatherings, similar to the Maoists


There are a few factors that may be liable for the enormous development of sedition cases which are as per the following:

  1. The first and foremost factor of it is education among people or groups of society with respect to Indian culture, character, and genuine history, accepted practices, and so on.
  2. Besides this, the second one is, the financial status of an individual or gathering of individuals is another relevant factor for sedition.
  3. Thirdly, the corruption of virtues and social impact might be seen as one of the significant causative variables of sedition.
  4. Last but not least is fourthly, religious fundamentalism isn’t just an issue in this nation yet it is a worldwide illness.

Seditious activities:

Subsequent to experiencing the understanding and interpretation of section 124A of IPC according to the Indian point of view law, coming up next are a few instances of exercises that are viewed as seditious in nature:

  1. Slogans against the Government: A gathering of individuals raising Slogans against the Government of India.
  2. Incites public disorder or violence orally: A speech made by a person that clearly incites violence or public disorder.
  3. Incites public disorder or violence through publication: Written work, like a newspaper article, which incites violence or public disorder.

Non-Seditious activities:

There are likewise some after demonstrations or exercises which are not viewed as seditious in nature are as per the following:

  1. Improvement or alteration of law by legitimate methods with the dissatisfaction with the proportions of government.
  2. The solid or strong words which are expressing dissatisfaction with activities of the Government and also not empowering those sentiments which generate public disorder by acts of violence.
  3. To improve the state of the individuals or to make sure about the adjustment of those demonstrations or acts by legitimate methods without the sentiments of enmity and disloyalty which include the excitement to public disorder or the use of violence?


  • 39th Report: The Commission, in its 39th Report (1968) titled ―The Punishment of Imprisonment for Life under the Indian Penal Code and it was proposed that ―offenses like sedition ought to be punishable either with imprisonment for life or with rigorous or simple imprisonment which may extend to three years, but not more.
  • 42nd Report: In its 42nd Report (1971) titled ―Indian Penal Code, the Commission made three critical proposals to be incorporated in section 124A, IPC like Incorporation of mens rea, broadened the scope and changes in punishments for this section but, the Government didn’t accept the modification proposed by the Commission.
  • 43rd Report: The 43rd Report of the Law Commission on ―Offences Against the National Security, (1971), additionally managed the sedition as part of the National Security Bill, 1971in which Section 39 of this Bill dealt with sedition.
  • 267th Report: The 267th Report of the Commission on ―Hate Speech, (2017), distinguished between sedition and hate speech. The Report includes, that to qualify as sedition, the impugned expression must threaten the sovereignty and respectability of India and the security of the State.

NCRB Records:

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), however, has just been gathering separate information on sedition cases since 2014 and from the records of their information; we become more acquainted with about it that:

  • Sedition cases have increased in recent years
  • Just a bunch of sedition cases have brought about a conviction
  • Most offenses against the state were an infringement of the open property act
  • In the new anti-national violence crime category, Maoist violence has the most cases registered


The courts have likewise been not able to provide reasonable guidance to the law. While the last situation on the law in India was set down as right on time as 1960, the law of sedition is described by its mistaken application and use as an instrument for provocation. In this manner, a portion of the purposes behind which individuals have been reserved under the arrangement (and regularly detained) incorporate loving a Facebook page, reprimanding a mainstream yoga expert, rooting for the Pakistani group during a cricket coordinate versus India, posing an inquiry about whether the stone-palters in Jammu and Kashmir were the genuine legends in a college exam, making kids shows that supposedly prompt violence and making a speech at a conference highlighting the various atrocities committed by the armed forces.

In this, taking everything into account, we have to advance a stricter approach to fix ailments like sedition and treachery, so as to keep up the power and integrity of the country. The education system has a significant duty to develop future Indians with deliberate focus and intensity of brains to assemble a dynamic country. The lawmaking body has the obligation to address issues like discrimination in regard of standing, sex, religion or language; to channelize complaints against approaches of the Government; to en-route legitimate methodology for the analysis of the Government exercises; joining of mandatory military help for each national; execution of proper arrangement for haven searchers and infiltrators. The legal executive has the most elevated duty to characterize and to pass judgment on precisely every single instance of sedition and treachery, and confer suitable justice to the country.

This article is authored by Shivam Sharma, Fourth-Year, B.A. LL.B, student ar IME Law College, Delhi NCR

Also Read- JNU Sedition Case: Chargesheet Filed Against Kanhaiya Kumar & Umar Khalid

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