The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the expression of views which are different from the opinion of the government cannot be termed seditious, as it dismissed a PIL against the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah for making statements against the scrapping of Article 370.
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta said dissent cannot be termed seditious. The top court observation came on a plea filed by Rajat Sharma and others through advocate Shiv Sagar Tiwari. The top court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the petitioners for filing the plea against Abdullah. The plea cited alleged remarks made by Abdullah that he sought help of China and Pakistan against India on Article 370.
The National Conference (NC) had rubbished reports that its patron Farooq Abdullah, during a television interview, said that Article 370 of the Constitution will be restored in the Kashmir Valley with China's help. "The act of Abdullah is very serious against the interest of the nation therefore he deserves to be removed from the Parliament", said the plea.
The plea contended that Abdullah's statement is anti-national and seditious and government should be directed to take appropriate action declaring him as underserving candidate to be a member of Parliament. "For that if the action of Farooq Abdullah is allowed and he is allowed to continue as member of Parliament, it would amount to approval of all anti-national activities by anyone in India", added the plea.