Centre for Communication Governance at NLU delhi
Literature from the Indian Context

Mahatma Gandhi, Statement of the Great Trial of 1922 [Open Access]

This is a recording of Mahatma Gandhi’s speech during his trial for the offence of inciting disaffection against the British Government under Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code. In his speech, Gandhi describes Section 124-A as the “prince among the political sections of the Indian Penal Code designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen”.

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W.R Donogh, A treatise on the law of sedition and cognate offences in British India: Penal and Preventive, Thacker Spink and Co., Calcutta, 1911

This is a handbook on the colonial law of sedition and related offences. It discusses the origin and history of the law of sedition, and describes the important trials on sedition offences that took place in colonial India.

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Aravind Ganachari, Combating Terror of Law in Colonial India: The law of Sedition and the Nationalist Response in M. Vardaloset. Al. (eds.) Engaging Terror: A Critical & Inter-disciplinary Approach, Brown Walker Press, 2009

This paper traces the history of Indo-British law on sedition, namely, Section 124-A of the IPC and focuses mainly on how it was used by the British to suppress Indian nationalism. It argues that the Colonial State terrorized the masses by using the law as an instrument of coercion. It compares the strategies used by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi in combating sedition cases foisted on them.

Sarim Naved, On sedition: Sarim Naved, Kafila, December 07, 2010 [Open Access]

In this article, the author gives a chronological account of sedition in Indian law, and discusses the procedural aspects laid down for a magistrate to take cognizance of sedition.

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Siddharth Narain, We are all seditious now, but when did this start?, Kafila, December 06, 2010. [Open Access]

In this article, the author traces the development of Sedition Law in India from pre-colonial era to the present time.

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Binayak Sen, Sedition law is against spirit of democracy, The Times of India, September 16, 2012 [Open Access]

The author provides his own experience of being booked under the Sedition Law and poses questions on the relevance of Sedition Laws in the present times.

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A.G. Noorani, Sedition and Democracy, The Kashmir Monitor, 8th December 2013 [Open Access]

In this article, Noorani discusses the provision of Section 124-A of the IPC and the recent cases under it. He concludes that this provision is unconstitutional, and calls for its repeal, or at the very least, reform in the law.

Centre for Study of Social Exclusion, NLSIU and Inclusive Policy & Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore, Sedition Laws & The Death of Free Speech in India [Open Access]

This manual describes the historical evolution of Sedition laws and the recent developments in this field. It also provides a comparative study of sedition laws across different countries. It deals with how sedition laws have been dealt with in contemporary India, and brings together various arguments to make the case for the repeal of these laws.

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Siddharth Narain, ‘Disaffection’ and the Law: The chilling effect of Sedition Law in India, Economic and Political Weekly Vol. 46 Issue 8 (2011) [Open Access]

This article questions the place that colonial legacy which, in its logic, believes that people are bound to feel affection for the state, and should not show any enmity, contempt, hatred or hostility towards the government established by law, has in a modern democratic state like India. It examines how these laws impact the ability of citizens to freely express themselves and limit the ability to constructively criticise or express dissent against governments.

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Human Rights Watch, Repeal Sedition Law, 5th January 2011 [Open Access]

In this article, Human Rights Watch calls for the repeal of sedition law in India following its widespread abuse. The article points out a number of cases where the law on sedition has been used to silence political dissent even when there is no incitement to violence.

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Nivedita Menon, Sedition: The Highest duty of a citizen, Kafila, 26th October 2010 [Open Access]

This blog article argues that concepts of sedition and disaffection have no place in a modern democracy, as the provisions are unconstitutional.

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Margaret Stride, Not a 21st century law, 8(17) Tehelka Magazine, 30th April 2011

This article argues that even if the sedition law was not abused like it is in India in modern times, it is a bad law that infringes on the constitutional right to freedom of expression.

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Gopalakrishna Sastri, The Law of Sedition in India, Book, Indian Law Institute, Bombay, 1964

This book provides an overview of sedition law in India, taking into account the nature of the subject, its history in India, discrepancies in viewpoint during the British period and some interesting corrections of the judiciary by Parliament. It deals with laws and judgments related to sedition in the context of the Constitution, and also focuses specifically on forfeiture of documents.

[Review] Wolfgang Friedmann, The Changing Structure of International Law

The review can be downloaded from HeinOnline.

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[Review] J. Edwards, The Law Officers of the Crown

The review can be downloaded from the Wiley online library.

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