Section 124 of The Indian Penal Code 1860 defines offence of Sedition. The law of sedition in India has assumed controversial importance largely because of change in body politic, and specially because of constitutional provision of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed as a fundamental right under Article 19(2)(i) 21 of the constitution.

1) Meaning of Sedition :

 Sedition is nothing but libel (defamation) of the established authority by law. for example Government Hence it is called seditious libel in England. Sedition in the ordinary sense means a stirring up of rebellion against the government.The seditious conduct maybe by words, by deed or by writing.

2) Definition of Sedition : 

Stephen has defined sedition, as applicable under English law, as a conduct which has, either as its object, or as its natural consequence, the unlawful display of dissatisfaction with the government or with the existing order of society.

3) Sedition is punishable under Section 124A. 

Section 124A runs as follows :

     Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, a shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.


Explanation 1 :

        The expression "disaffection" includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity.

Explanation 2 :

       Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.

Explanation 3 : 

         Comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.



Types of Sedition.

Sedition can be classified into five specific heads

1) To excite dissatisfaction against the king, Government, or constitution or against Parliament or the administration of Justice.

2) To promote, by unlawful means, any alteration in Church or State;

3) To incite a disturbance of the peace;

4) To raise discontent among the king's subject; and

5) To excite class hatred .


See also :

1) Offences Relating to Weights and Measures (Indian Penal Code,1860)


2) Difference/ Distinction between Hurt and Grievous Hurt

3) Distinction between Dishonestly and Fraudulently

4) Defamation under the Indian Penal Code

5) Offences against Marriage (IPC)

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