New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Thursday told a city court that ‘merely uttering a derogatory word, without more avert act, against the Prime Minister did not constitute sedition under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 124A or 153A.’
This was in connection with complaints seeking the charge of sedition against Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who, infamously, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a ‘neech aadmi‘ (low person), in the run-up to the 2017 Gujarat Assembly Elections. While Section 124A relates to sedition, Section-153 covers promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.
Submitting an Action Taken Report (ATR) in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Vasundhara Azad, the Delhi Police sought dismissal of the complaint saying that ‘no cognizable offence’ can be made out from its contents. However, it said that it would abide by the court’s order.
Two complaints were filed by advocate Ajay Agarwal in the court. In the first, he accused the senior Congress leader of calling the Prime Minister a ‘neech aadmi’ before the 2017 Gujarat Elections, calling it an ‘attempt to influence voters and incite hatred.’
In the second, he alleged that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of dignitaries, including former Vice-President Hamid Ansari, held a meeting at Manishankar in which they ‘conspired against India.’
Following this, the court asked the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police to initiate a probe into the allegations and submit an ATR to it.
In its submission, the police also cited the 1995 Supreme Court judgment in the Balwant Singh vs the State of Punjab case to explain why Aiyar’s remark was not ‘sedition.’