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It is evident that kashmiri students of A.M.U committed no crime.

It is reported that 2 Ph.D. research students of A.M.U. have been arrested and charged for sedition under section 124A IPC for raising ‘azadi’ slogans at the namaz-e-janaza of Kashmiri militant Mañan Wani.

In my opinion their arrest is totally illegal

In my opinion their arrest is totally illegal. It is no crime to demand azadi, and it is part of freedom of speech guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution. It becomes a crime if one goes further and commits or organises violence, or instigates imminent violence vide Sri Indra Das vs State of Assam ( see online ).

Many people in India demand azadi e.g. Kashmiris, Khalistanis, some people of the North East, etc, and by themselves such demands are no crimes.

The ‘clear and present’ danger test of the celebrated Justice Holmes of the US Supreme Court ( see Schenck vs US ) which was followed by the Indian Supreme Court in Govt of Andhra Pradesh vs P. Laxmi Devi ( see online para 79 ) as well as the ‘imminent lawless action’ test of the US Supreme Court in Brandenburg vs Ohio, which was followed by the Indian Supreme Court in Arup Bhuyan vs State of Assam and In Sri Indra Das vs State of Assam, are applicable.

So it is evident that these students of A.MU. committed no crime by merely raising slogans of azadi, as by themselves such slogans create no clear and present danger of an imminent violent uprising.

By Justice Markandey Katju
former Judge, Supreme Court of India   
Disclaimer: The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not reflect the views and policies of the
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