The situation around the series of events triggered off by the Afzal Guru event at JNU only seems to be getting worse after JNU students, teachers and journalists were beaten up at Patiala House Court by lawyers and a BJP MLA, and now former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee has described sedition charges against JNUSU as deplorable.
Asked if Kanhaiya Kumar’s alleged slogans amounted to sedition, Sorabjee said that arresting him for merely shouting slogans like “Pakistan zindabad” is deplorable, since it is not sedition. He said that the Supreme Court has described sedition as acts which have tendency and intention to disturb law and order or incite violence, India Today reported.
“The Supreme Court has construed it in that fashion and said it very clearly that even if you use words that vigorously criticise the government or comment on the actions of the government, that is not sedition. That is our law, that is how Section 124A was interpreted and upheld as constitutional by a Constitution Bench.”
About slogans like “Hindustan murdabad”, Sorabjee called it a “borderline case”. He said that the court of law can take a decision on such cases, but no individual MLA can take the law into his own hands and assault protesters and journalists.
The eminent lawyer also spoke about Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement about Hafiz Saeed supporting the JNU event, he told The Indian Express,
“Do our citizens require a certificate from Hafiz Saeed to prove their patriotism? I think that is not the right way to go about it. We must go by the actual words they used, the actual acts they did and see if that amounts to sedition.”
Warning against over reacting in the case, Sorabjee said that, “Our state rests on more solid foundations, which can’t be disturbed by ill-conceived or ill-tempered, stupid words by a person.”