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Report No. 156

Clause 48

12.29. Under this clause, the existing section 124A which deals with Sedition is sought to be substituted by a new section bearing the same number. Most of the clauses mentioned in the existing section 124A find a place in the new section.

In addition, certain acts are included. The new section postulates that whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations, or otherwise, excites, or attempts to excite, disaffection towards the Constitution, or the Government or Parliament of India, or the Government or Legislature of any State or the administration of justice, intending or knowing it to be likely thereby to endanger the integrity or security of India or of any State or to cause public disorder shall be Punishable.

The expression "disaffection" is the same except the word "disloyalty" is omitted. This change is in conformity with the addition of offence of disaffection towards Parliament, Legislatures, administration of justice which was not there in the existing section. Having considered both these provisions, we are of the view that the changes as found in the Bill can be carried out. We have discussed all these aspects in Chapter VII in detail and we have also given reasons why the changes should be carried out.

Under this clause a new section 124B is also sought to be inserted. Under this new section, whoever deliberately insults the Constitution of India or any part thereof, the national flag, the national emblem or the national anthem, by burning the national flag etc., shall be punishable.

The Law Commission in its 42nd Report observed that there should be a provision for punishment for insults to the Constitution, national flag, emblem and the national anthem which may include burning of the Constitution and deliberate insults to the national anthem which are unpatriotic. Therefore, they recommended the insertion of this new section. On the basis of that recommendations, prevention of insults to National Honour Act, 1971 has been enacted. Therefore, this new section 124B need not be inserted and the same may be deleted from clause 48 (Vide Chapter VII).

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