HC Reserves Order on PIL Against Sedition Charge on Cartoonist

HC Reserves Order on PIL Against Sedition Charge on Cartoonist

The Bombay High Court reserved its order on a public interest litigation today, challenging the arrest of anti-corruption cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on charges of sedition under Indian Penal Code.

The PIL, filed by lawyer Sanskar Marathe, contended that the anti-sedition law was enacted by the British during colonial rule and it needed to be changed in the present scenario.

Trivedi, who is a free speech activist, was arrested in 2012 after the Mumbai police charged him with "sedition" and other offences for allegedly poking fun at the constitution and the country's national emblem by drawing cartoons which were circulated at an anti-corruption rally here. He was released on bail later.

The complaint against Trivedi was filed by one Amit Katarnavea, a Mumbai-based law student, who had alleged that Trivedi's cartoons were "derogatory to the Indian constitution".

Though the government withdrew sedition charges against Trivedi after the petition was filed in the High Court, the 27-year-old cartoonist faces other charges under the National Emblem Act and the Information Technology Act.

Though the Kanpur-based cartoonist was released on bail after a few days in prison in 2012, his detention had ignited a debate on the law of sedition in the country.

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