Date of Submission
Global and International Studies
Project Advisor 1
The aim of this project is to at once analyse and move beyond the “normative” conflict arising between the procedural abuse and the diluted interpretation of sedition on free speech and examine the kind of effect it has on the Indian judiciary and State.
Answering this question will require charting the evolution of sedition in India from its colonial inception to its current place in jurisprudence; it will require understanding the gulf that exists between the Court’s interpretation and the State’s application of it; it will require understanding how this procedural punishment has a “chilling effect” on our willingness to exercise freedom of speech and expression, and lastly, how that often renders the State a sensitive referent object of the offence and the Court its only remedy. All these arguments, once understood and unpacked, will hopefully lead towards the conclusion that the application of sedition in India while strengthening the position of the judiciary ultimately weakens the rule of law. The Indian Courts, serving as the sole recourse for State prosecution, act as its shield, protecting its authoritarian tendencies under the veil of legalism, thus weakening the true rule of law. As a result the Court further legitimises the State, like a parent blindly tending to the wounds of their child, inflicted by their own spouse.
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Singhania, Pranav Hari, "Judging in Silence: The History, Enforcement, and Adjudication of Sedition in India" (2020). Senior Projects Spring 2020. 69.
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