What is Section 150? All you need to know as govt mulls repeal of sedition law

The offence of sedition may soon cease to exist as the Centre mulls a replacement for the Indian Penal Code. Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill to the Lok Sabha on the final day of the Monsoon Session. Under its provisions the offense of sedition – as outlined in Section 124A of the IPC will be replaced by Section 150 of the new Bill.  

According to the existing sedition law those found guilty could be punished with im­prisonment for life and even an additional fine. Section 124A could be exercised against individuals using various means (spoken or written word, signs etc) to “bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection”.

While similar in nature, Section 150 of the new law avoids using the word sedition, instead describing the offence as “endangering sovereignty, unity and integrity of India”. The bill will now be sent further for scrutiny by a Parliamentary panel.

What does Section 150 say?

“Whoever, purposely or knowingly, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or by electronic communication or by use of financial mean, or otherwise, excites or attempts to excite, secession or armed rebellion or subversive activities, or encourages feelings of separatist activities or endangers sovereignty or unity and integrity of India; or indulges in or commits any such act shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.”

Section 150 is followed by an aditional segment (Section 151) which seeks to punish people who ‘wage war against the Government of any foreign State at peace with the Government of India’ or abet any such efforts.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 12 Aug 2023, 05:39 AM IST

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