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Report No. 248

39. Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act, Act 10 of 1911

Category: Criminal Justice

Recommendation: Repeal

This Act empowered a District Magistrate or Commissioner of Police to prohibit a public meeting in a proclaimed area if they believe such meeting is likely to promote sedition. This Act was enacted with the express purpose of clamping down on meetings being held by nationalists.

The Act prohibited meetings 'likely to cause disturbance or public excitement', but the specific provisions creating offences suffer from vagueness. Given that private meetings are also covered under this Act by virtue of section 3(2), its provisions are unduly harsh. The continuation of this colonial legislation is unnecessary given the extensive provisions relating to sedition under the Indian Penal Code. Further, the provisions of the Act are likely to be ultra vires Articles 19(1)(a) and (b)



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