Why have over 400 people been booked for sedition for just criticising govt?

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The Supreme Court this week said that “strong words” of disapproval against the government did not amount to sedition. The order was passed in a case against journalist Vinod Dua by a local BJP leader from Himachal Pradesh. The Supreme court has also decided to review the sedition law.

Earlier this year, Article 14 published the findings of its sedition database that tracked all sedition cases filed in the past 10 years. The database showed that nearly 11,000 people have been charged for sedition since 2010, from journalists to academics to authors to opposition politicians. Since the BJP came to power, the cases have increased by 28% each year. More than 400 people were charged with sedition for criticising politicians–most of them had criticised Narendra Modi and UP chief minister,Yogi Adityanath.

The author of the piece, independent journalist Kunal Purohit spoke to Lubhyathi Rangarajan, the head of the Article 14 Sedition Database. She is also an independent lawyer and researcher.

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