Abusive Words Against PM Not Sedition: Karnataka High Court Quashes FIR Against School

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has dismissed a sedition case against the management of a school in Bidar, stating that abusive language directed towards the Prime Minister was derogatory and irresponsible but did not amount to sedition. Justice Hemant Chandangoudar quashed the FIR filed against the school management, emphasizing that Section 153(A) of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with causing disharmony between religious groups, did not apply in this case.

The court acknowledged that while criticism of government policies is permissible, it is not acceptable to insult constitutional functionaries for their decisions. The play performed by the children within the school premises criticized government enactments, but there was no incitement to violence or public disorder. The play only came to public attention when one of the accused uploaded it on social media.

The high court concluded that there were no essential elements to justify the registration of the FIR for sedition or other related charges. The sedition case had been filed against the school authorities following a play performed by students against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizenship (NRC).

The court also provided advice to schools, suggesting that they avoid allowing children to criticize governments. It emphasized the importance of focusing on topics that develop children’s academic interests and provide them with knowledge and technology for their education. Schools were advised to refrain from teaching children to criticize government policies or insult constitutional functionaries.

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