On Monday, May 31, the Supreme Court restrained the Andhra Pradesh police from taking coercive action against two Telugu TV channels charged with sedition.
A three-judge bench said it is "high time we define what sedition is". Criticising the government can't be termed sedition, noted the apex court, reported India Today.
"Having heard learned counsel, we are of the view that the ambit and parameters of the provisions of Sections 124A, 153A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code would require interpretation, particularly in the context of the right of the electronic and print media to communicate news, information… even those that may be critical of the prevailing regime in any part of the nation," a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud ordered.
While under Section 124A, an accused can be sentenced to life imprisonment, under the other two provisions, a person can face imprisonment up to three years.
What Is The Case All About?
Justice Chandrachud said that the government's act of filing sedition cases against the channels is "muffling channels". It is time the court defines sedition, he added. T
The Andhra Pradesh police lodged a suo motu FIR against TV5 and ABN on May 14 for broadcasting views of MP Krishnam Raju, a rebel leader of the ruling YSRCP. Raju allegedly criticised Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's COVID management policy, reported Times of India.
Raju has been named as the first accused in the case, and TV5 and ABN as the second and third accused, respectively. Raju, who was arrested in the case, had obtained bail from the Supreme Court. He alleged that he was subjected to third-degree torture while in police custody and has moved the top court seeking a CBI inquiry.