Law Minister has no authority to draw arbitrary 'Lakshman Rekha: Chidambaram

by IANS |

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) Former Home Minister P. Chidambaram has hit out at Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on his statement of "Lakshman Rekha" after the Supreme Court put the sedition laws in the country on hold till review is done.

Chidambaram on Thursday tweeted, "The Law Minister of India has no authority to draw any arbitrary Lakshman Rekha He should read Article 13 of the Constitution."

"The Legislature cannot make a law, nor can a law be allowed to remain on the statute book, that violates the Fundamental Rights. The sedition law, in the view of many legal scholars, violates Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution. All the King's horses and all the King's men cannot save that law".

Rijiju on Wednesday had said that everyone should respect the Supreme Court's decision to put the sedition law on hold.

Reacting to the Court's order which stayed all proceedings in sedition cases, he said that the government has made its position very clear, adding that there is a "Lakshman Rekha" which needs to be respected by all organs of the state.

"We have made our position very clear and also informed the court about the intentions of our PM. We respect the court and its independence. But there's a 'Lakshman Rekha' (line) that must be respected by all organs of the state in letter and spirit," the Law Minister further said.

"We have to ensure that we respect the provisions of the Indian Constitution as well as existing laws," he added.

The Apex Court on Wednesday (May 11) stayed the use of the sedition law and has directed the Central and the states' governments to not register any fresh FIRs invoking sedition charges until the law is reviewed.

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