The following acts do not amount to sedition as they are protected as your right to freedom of speech and expression under the Constitution of India:
- Any criticism of government policies and their actions.
- Any criticism done in good faith against the Government.
- Any criticism done to improve the functioning of the Government.
In other words, commenting in strong terms upon the measures or acts of Government or its agencies is not the same as disloyalty towards the Government. As long as the words used by a person do not lead to people feeling enmity and disloyalty towards the Government and public disorder or use of violence, it is not an act of sedition. 1
- If Amit draws a cartoon for a newspaper highlighting and ridiculing the corruption in the Government, it would not amount to sedition. 2
- If a filmmaker makes a documentary on the violence of Jammu and Kashmir and critiques the Government actions in it, they would not be liable for sedition.
- If Bobby sticks posters in the public library to boycott the general elections to the Legislative assembly and writes “No vote for the masters who are exploiting people”, this does not amount to sedition.
- If Rahul criticizes the government on his Facebook wall for not maintaining the roads in his area, and says bad things about the government, it would not amount to sedition. 3
- If Tanya expresses her anger against any administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite any hatred or violence, then it would not amount to sedition.
- If Raj gives a fiery speech at a stage rally about the ongoing injustice to a certain community, then his speeches won’t amount to sedition if they do not incite any violence or cause public disorder. 4
- If Ramu holds a slogan saying “I hate the Government, the Government is corrupt”, it is not an act of sedition. If the slogan had resulted in people hating the Government along with violence, then it would be an act of sedition.
- Kedar Nath v. State of Bihar, A.I.R. 1962 S.C. 955.
- Sanskar Marathe v. State of Maharashtra & Ors., 2015 (2) R.C.R. (Cr) 351.
- Balwant Singh v. State of Punjab, (1995) 3 S.C.C. 214.
- Arup Bhuyan v. the State of Assam, (2011) 3 S.C.C. 377.