Discuss the probable extent and implication of application of IPC sec 124 A on the mediaNow, a big argument is going on the issue of the application of IPC section 124 A. Media agencies such as ABN and TV5 have approached the Courts against the FIR filed against them on charges of sedition. Freedom of speech ensured by the Constitution is a fundamental right and though connected, is a different issue than the one at hand.
Sec 124 A of the Indian Penal Code says that 'Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine'.
The Supreme Court has already held in principle that the interpretation of the term 'sedition' needs to be re-looked. Now, as members of ISC, what do you feel about the application of this section on media reports? How do you think the indulgence of the government in trying to put such serious charges against the media will affect their independent functioning?
Please post your views with specific reference to section 124 A and avoid making general comments on freedom of the press, a topic that has been discussed in this forum many times .