The Supreme Court today granted time to the Centre to reconsider the validity of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code while hearing petitions challenging the validity of the provision.

The Bench comprising of Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli directed that all the ongoing proceedings under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code are to be kept in abeyance till then. The Court also restrained the Centre and State from filing any fresh FIRs under Section 124A.

The Supreme Court directed that those who are already booked under Section 124A can approach the appropriate Court for appropriate relief.

The Court had previously asked the Central Government for its stand on pending and future cases, after it said that it is fully cognizant of various views being expressed on the subject and has decided to re-examine and re-consider the provisions of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code. It had asked the Court not to invest time in examining the validity of the law and await the exercise of reconsideration.

Today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the Bench that registration of FIRs for the offence of sedition cannot be prevented as the provision dealt with a cognisable offence and was upheld by a Constitution Bench in 1962.

He suggested a mechanism hereunder a case under Section 124A of IPC will be registered only if an officer not below the rank of an SP records his satisfaction in writing and the law laid down by Supreme Court in the matter of Vinod Dua v. Union of India is scrupulously followed. However, the Court did not accept this suggestion.