Rijiju, Chidambaram spar over sedition law
As former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday questioned Law Minister Kiren Rijiju’s Lakshman Rekha comment over the Supreme Court’s order to pause filing fresh cases under the sedition law, the Law Minister reminded the decisions taken by the Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indira Gandhi governments to strengthen the sedition law.
On Wednesday, after the court’s order about putting the sedition law in abeyance, Mr. Rijiju had said the powers of the executive, legislature and judiciary were demarcated and none should cross the “Lakshman Rekha”.
Responding to these remarks, Mr. Chidambaram said,“ The Law Minister of India has no authority to draw any arbitrary Lakshman Rekha. He should read Article 13 of the Constitution. The Legislature cannot make a law, nor can a law be allowed to remain on the statute book, that violates the Fundamental Rights”
“The sedition law, in the view of many legal scholars, violates Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men cannot save that law,” he added.
Quoting the former Union Minister’s tweet, Mr. Rijiju said “That’s why Nehru Ji brought in the First Amendment and Smt Indira Gandhi made Section 124A a cognisable offence for the first time in India’s history?,”
The Law Minister also alleged during the Anna movement and the other anti-corruption movements citizens were subjected to harassment, intimidation and arrests.
“Congress Govt. overturned a court verdict because that govt. was neck deep in vote bank politics. UPA Govt has the worst track record of filing sedition cases. Our Govt. will protect the unity, integrity & sovereignty of India & rights of the citizens enshrined in our Constitution,”Mr. Rijiju said in another tweet.