Lahore High Court invalidates the sedition law (124-A).
LAHORE: Section 124-A of the Pakistan Criminal Code (PPC), which deals with sedition, was struck down on Thursday by Judge Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court (LHC).
The court’s decision followed a number of citizen petitions challenging the sedition statute on the grounds that the government had been abusing it against its opponents.
Today, Judge Karim handed down the verdict that had been reserved in response to Selman Abuzar Niazi and other petitioners’ arguments
The petitions had challenged the registration of proceedings under sedition rules against persons who spoke against the administration.
In the petition, it was claimed that the sedition act’s passage in 1860 is evidence of British colonial power.
It was also mentioned that this rule, which allows cases to be recorded at anyone’s request, was utilised for slavery.
According to the appeal, notwithstanding Section 124-A’s imposition, every Pakistani citizen has the right to freedom of expression under the country’s constitution.
The petitioners contend that Section 124-A of the Sedition Act is being misused for political ends and ought to be repealed.
What does PPC Section 124-A entail?
Sedition: Anyone who incites hatred, contempt, or attempts to incite disaffection towards the Federal or Provincial Government established by law shall be punished with imprisonment for life with the possibility of an additional fine, with imprisonment that may extend to three years with the possibility of an additional fine, or with fine. This punishment may also include a fine.
Explanation 1: Disaffection encompasses all enmities and lack of loyalty.
Explanation 2: Statements that express disapproval of government policies with the aim of changing them legally—without inciting or attempting to incite hate, contempt, or disaffection—do not violate this clause.
Explanation 3: Under this clause, comments that criticise administrative decisions or other government actions without inciting or seeking to incite hate, contempt, or disaffection are not illegal.