February 26, 2024
court hammer books judgment law concept

Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote the sedition law, which was incorporated into the Indian Penal Code in 1870. Section 124A of the law states that it is illegal to use any words, spoken, written, or displayed, that incite hatred or contempt for the government. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code was dubbed by Mahatma Gandhi as the most politically charged section, with the intention of restricting citizens’ freedoms.

Jawaharlal Nehru shared a similar opinion regarding this section, pointing out that the sooner this provision was removed, the better, as it was offensive and extremely objectionable.

kedarnath vs state of bihar case summary

Kedarnath Case Facts:

  • Thekedarnath vs state of bihar citation is AIR 1962 SC 955.
  • The then-ruling Congress Government was chastised by revolutionary leader Kedarnath.
  • A case was filed against him based on the words he used and the statement he made, alleging Section 124A, Sedition, and Section 505, Public Mischief. He was consequently given a harsh one-year prison sentence.
  • After hearing his case, the Patna High Court maintained the conviction and rejected the appeal.
  • Consequently, he filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, arguing that Article 19 of the Indian Constitution, 1950 violated his fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression.
  • Additionally, they argued that the Indian Penal Code’s Sedition Clause violates the 1950 Constitution.

Kedarnath Case Issues:

  • Do Section 19(1)(a) and Section 19(2) of the Constitution supersede Sections 124A and 505 of the IPC?
  • Is the accused intending to cause chaos, alienation, or incitement to violence in order to be found guilty of a sedition law offense?

kedarnath case judgment:

  • The kedarnath case judgment was decided on the year 20th January, 1962.
  • The judges comprised Justice Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Sinha, Chief Justice., A.K. Sarkar, Justice J.R. Madholkar, Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar, and Justice S.K. Das.
  • The Court noted that under Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution, 1950, the sedition clause expressly limits the right to free speech.
  • The Court further noted that Article 19 of the Indian Constitution of 1950’s reasonable restrictions apply to the punishment for sedition.
  • The Court went on to state that criticism of a particular party cannot be equated with criticism of the legally established government.
  • The Court went on to state that the remarks cited in Section 124A IPC would be disruptive to public order and peace.
  • The Court came to the conclusion that only statements that incite public disorder should be punished under Section 124A IPC.
  • The Court further stated that while reasonable restrictions are required for the safety and integrity of the State, the protection of free speech should be maintained to the fullest extent possible.

After Effect of the Judgment

  • The ruling, which emphasizes the value of free speech and cautions against putting too much faith in the state, is one of the court’s most well-known and frequently cited precedents. It has also greatly aided in the development of the judiciary by emphasizing the direct and unmistakable connection between speech that is suppressed and the feared public disorder.
  • In 2011, the court ruled in a case under the now-expired Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (Tada) that a person who belongs to a terrorist organization cannot be found guilty just for being a member of the group unless they have actively encouraged others to engage in criminal activity.
  • In the case of Shreya Singhal case, Section 66A of the Information Technology Act was declared unconstitutional and vague. The court concluded that the section is so ambiguous that neither the accused nor the authorities are certain of the appropriate charges.
  • In the case of Dr. Binayak Sen v. State of Chhattisgarh, he was charged with sedition against the Chhattisgarh government because he was purported to have backed the Naxalites, infringing on the provisions of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005.

Undoubtedly, the ruling established a solid precedent for future cases because it upholds each person’s right to freedom without jeopardizing national security, which ought to be the primary goal of any state. The court correctly noted that while section 124A is lawful, its scope must be limited because failing to do so would call into question fundamental rights.

One of the most significant and frequently cited precedents in courts worldwide was Kedar Nath Singh v State of Bihar. It has also aided in the development of the legal system with regard to cases involving the sedition statute. The ruling emphasizes the value of the fundamental freedoms of speech and expression, allows for reasonable restrictions on those freedoms, and draws a connection between the right to criticize and the ability to disturb public order. It has been observed that the government uses these provisions to silence anyone who dared to voice dissent against the ruling party.

The ruling, which lays out the two requirements that must be met for a crime to be committed, is still enforceable.

For any latest news, case laws, judiciary exams notifications, patterns, etc watch Jyoti Judiciary’s YouTube channel for legal videos for any updates at

Leave a Comment