Congress leader Kapil Sibal says there is no need for a sedition law

The former Union minister said the colonial law has become a tool for the government to browbeat those who are opposed to it

Two days after the Delhi Police charged former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others with sedition case lodged in 2016,Congress leader Kapil Sibal accused the government of misusing the sedition law to muzzle citizens who speak against it.

“There is no need for a sedition law in today’s times, it is a colonial law. Many who merely speak or tweet against the Government have sedition charges imposed against them, it is being misused by Centre just to keep citizens in check,” ANI quoted Sibal as saying.

The Delhi Police filed a chargesheet in Delhi court on Monday against Kanhaiya Kumar and others in a sedition case lodged in 2016.Former research scholars Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were also charged by the police for allegedly raising ‘anti-national’ slogans at a campus event almost three years ago.

Kumar, who completed his PhD from the university’s School of International Studies last year, said the chargesheet was “politically motivated” and questioned its timing.

Under fire for taking almost three years to file the 1200-page chargesheet, the police said collecting information covertly, multiple visits to different states and many sessions of questioning took time. The maximum punishment for sedition is life term.