NEW DELHI: Hours after the Supreme Court put a stay on the sedition law, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that speaking the truth is patriotism, not treason. Echoing the sentiments, the party said that speaking truth to power cannot be sedition but true nationalism.
In a historic decision, the three-judge apex court bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli also ruled that no few FIRs will be lodged under this law until the Centre reexamines the provisions of this British-era law.
“Speaking the truth is patriotism, not treason. Telling the truth is patriotism, not treason. Listening to the truth is the Rajdharma. To crush the truth is arrogance. Do not fear!” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
Meanwhile, Congress national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Speaking truth to power cannot be sedition. But it is true nationalism and a true test of how committed you are towards your country and to your people.”
Surjewala also said that the Supreme Court has finally spoken by staying the sedition law.
“A clear cut message has gone today to suppressors and subjugators of public opinion, of dissent, of everyone, who criticises the autocratic and dictatorial rulers and their policy. You can no longer suppress the voice of truth, dissent,” the Congress leader said.
He said that those critical of the government must be heard and course correction needs to be done.
“We fought against the British, the seditious law that was heaped upon lakhs and crores of Congressmen by the British and that law needs to go now,” Surjewala said.
Surjewala also said that what the grand old party said in its 2019 Lok Sabha elections manifesto is coming true.
“Congress promised this in its 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto and the Supreme Court has finally spoken that the Constitution will be upheld and the voice of truth and those speaking truth to power will finally have their way,” he added.
His remarks came after the Supreme Court on Wednesday in a historic decision ordered that the 152-year old sedition law under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) should be effectively kept in abeyance till the Union Government reconsiders the provision.
The Supreme Court also said that those already booked under Section 124A of the IPC and are in jail can approach the courts for relief.
The top court also said that “we hope and expect that Centre and states will restrain from registering fresh FIRs under Section 124A (sedition) of IPC”.