The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a PIL filed by a Vadodara resident against former J&K Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah (83) for his alleged act of sedition in seeking help of China and Pakistan for restoration of Article 370 scrapped by the government in 2019.
Abdullah had allegedly said during a television interview that Article 370 of the Constitution will be restored in the Kashmir valley with China's help. Subsequently, Abdullah’s party, the National Conference, had denied he had ever made such a statement.
A Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta also slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner for failing to substantiate the sedition allegation made in the PIL, holding that "dissent with the government can't be termed as sedition."
How can an expression of views that is different from the stand of the government be termed as seditious, the Bench asked. The petitioners had sought termination of the Lok Sabha membership of Dr Abdullah for his alleged act of sedition.
The PIL said if Dr Abdullah is allowed to continue as an MP, it would amount to approval of all anti-national activities by anyone in India.