Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked to re-examine and reconsider the "obsolete" sedition law, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Rijiju said PM Modi has expressed his clear and unequivocal views in favour of the protection of civil liberties, respect for human rights and giving meaning to constitutional freedom.
The Union Law Minister said the government will suitably take into account views of the stakeholders and ensure that the sovereignty and integrity of the nation is preserved, while re-examining and re-considering the law on sedition.
Therefore, he said, the government has urged the Supreme Court not to invest their precious time in examining the validity of Section 124A of IPC, 1860 and await the exercise of re-consideration of Section 124A to be undertaken by the Government of India.
Earlier in the day, the government informed the apex court that it has decided to re-examine and reconsider the provisions of Section 124A which criminalises the offence of sedition and requested it not to take up the case till the matter is examined by the government.
In a fresh affidavit, the Centre said that Prime Minister is of the firm view that the baggage of colonial-era laws, which outlived their utility, must be scrapped during the period of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' (75 years of independence).
In that spirit, the government of India has scrapped over 1,500 outdated laws since 2014-15, it said.
"It has also ended over 25,000 compliance burdens which were causing unnecessary hurdles to the people of our country. Various offences which were causing mindless hindrances to people have been de-criminalised. This is an ongoing process. These were laws and compliances which reeked of a colonial mindset and thus have no place in today's India," the Centre said.
"The Centre being fully cognizant of various views being expressed on the subject of sedition and also having considered the concerns of civil liberties and human rights, while committed to maintain and protect the sovereignty and integrity of this great nation, has decided to reexamine and reconsider the provisions of Section 124A of the IPC which can be done only before the competent forum," the affidavit said while requesting the apex court to await the outcome of the Centre's exercise to re-examine Section 124A.
This had come after the government on Saturday told the Supreme Court that the 1962 verdict of the five-judge Constitution bench case which upheld the validity of the offence of sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, is binding and continues to be is a "good law and needs no reconsideration".
(With IANS inputs)