The Supreme Court, while hearing a PIL against former Jammua and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, said that holding an opinion different from that of the government in power was not sedition.
The court also dismissed the petition filed against the politician from Kashmir.
NDTV quoted the Supreme court as saying, “Expression of views which are dissent and different from government opinion cannot be termed as seditious.”
The PIL filed against the National Conference leader was against his remarks on the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019. It also alleged that the Abdullah sought help from Pakistan and China against India on the issue.
The court held that the petitioner failed to substantiate their claims and imposed a file of Rs 50,000.
Incidentally, the BJP had, in October 2020, accused Abdullah of making ”seditious and anti-national” remarks on the issue of restoring the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra had said in an interview that he had “become a hero in China” and claimed that Abdullah had said in an interview to a TV channel that ”with China’s support”, Article 370 of the Constitution, which conferred special status to Jammu and Kashmir, will be restored.
Addressing a press conference at the party office, Patra had claimed Abdullah has also justified China’s recent aggression at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by saying that the abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian parliament has irked and disturbed the communist country. Underlining that Article 370 was abrogated in a ”constitutional manner” by the Indian parliament, the BJP leader said, ”Abdullah remarks are seditious and anti-national.” Patra said it is painful and worrisome that a former chief minister and sitting MP makes such a statement and ”justifies the expansionist attitude of China”.