Senior Congress leaders at the release of party's manifesto on Tuesday in New Delhi
Senior Congress leaders at the release of party's manifesto on Tuesday in New Delhi

Congress manifesto promises to revamp laws, plans to quash sedition, amend AFSPA

ANI | Updated: Apr 02, 2019 22:28 IST

New Delhi [India] Apr 2 (ANI): The Congress manifesto released on Tuesday promised significant changes in the laws, like quashing of the Sedition law and amendment to the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).
The manifesto proposed to decriminalise laws that are essentially directed against civil violations and can be subjected to civil penalties. The laws include the sedition law and defamation.
"Omit Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code and make ‘defamation’ a civil offence. Omit Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (that defines the offence of ‘sedition’) that has been misused and, in any event, has become redundant because of subsequent laws," the manifesto proposed.
Sedition is a colonial-era law. Many eminent people have said that sedition must go. Sedition is no safeguard at all. It must go because it has become redundant due to subsequent laws,” Chidambaram said while announcing the manifesto.
The manifesto further proposed, "Amend the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 in order to strike a balance between the powers of security forces and the human rights of citizens and to remove immunity for enforced disappearance, sexual violence and torture.
"We would remove immunity only in three cases namely enforced disappearance, sexual violence, and torture. I have been a Home Minister and we recognise that armed forces require a certain amount of immunity but we also realise that human rights have to be respected,” said, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram while explaining the proposed change.
The Congress party also proposed to introduce a Prevention of Torture Act to prohibit the use of third-degree methods during custody or interrogation and punish cases of torture, brutality or other police excesses. (ANI)