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UAPA AND SEDITION: AN ALTERCATION WITH DEMOCRACY

By Riddhima Agarwal & Tanvi Pandey


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Abstract
The constitution of our country provides us with the freedom of speech and expression as a fundamental right. While it is established that these rights are not absolute in nature, with a surge in the use of sedition law and unlawful prevention activities in recent times the lines between political dissent and criminal activities have become blurry by criminalising particular ideologies, groups and beliefs which are rendered “criminal”. Today democracy is widely accepted as the most abundant form of governance because every citizen has a right to dissent. Only if there is discussion, disagreement and dialogue that we can arrive at better ways to run the country. This article elucidates the constitutionality and stumbling blocks of the draconian laws such as The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and Sedition—Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code are becoming weapons in the hands of the government and even private agencies to stifle free speech in their own time resulting in their constant misuse. These laws are legally flawed with indeterminate interpretation leaving room for ambiguity empowering the executive branches of the government to use this vagueness as an instrument for regulating public opinion and their beliefs to unsystematically use power, that being the case, the Supreme Court must strike down these laws in their entirety. The Hallmark of democracy is active participation, expressing constructive criticisms of government policies, there cannot be functional democracy without the right to dissent which is an essential element under the freedom of speech and expression.
Keywords
Unlawful activities, sedition, democracy, right to dissent.

TypeResearch Paper
InformationLex Humanitariae: Journal for a Change, Volume II issue IV, Pages 345-352
ISSN 2582-5216
Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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