white black legal international law journal ISSN: 2581-8503

Peer-Reviewed Journal | Indexed at Manupatra, HeinOnline, Google Scholar & ROAD




Authored By – Suveer Dubey

  Enrollment No. A3221518066



I, Suveer Dubey, student of BBA LLB (Hons.), hereby declare the Dissertation title ‘THE CURTAILMENT OF FREEDOM OF PRESS BY EXPLOITING THE LAW OF SEDITION – ANALYSIS OF THE VINOD DUA CASE’., which is submitted by me to Amity Law School, Noida in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the Dissertation is my original work and any further publication of the same shall not be done without my prior written consent. It is further declared that all the sources of information used in this Paper has been duly acknowledged. I understand that my paper may be electronically checked for plagiarism by the use of plagiarism detection software to assess the originality of the submitted work.

Place: Noida

Date:05th November,2022


This project is the outcome of the study by the author. Any material written by another person that has been used in the paper has been thoroughly acknowledged. As my research has concluded, there are a number of people I would like to thank for the successful attempt.

I would also like to express my exceptional gratitude and acknowledgment to Dr Smita Tyagi, who undertook the role of a supervisor and guide for the successful preparation of this project and for supporting me throughout the time of research and writing.

I would also like to extend my thanks and gratitude for the contribution of all those who helped me in this work as individuals or otherwise. On a personal level, I would like to extend my appreciation to my family and friends who supported me to conclude this legal writing work.



B.B.A., LL.B. (H)






Alternate Dispute Resolution.






A. Act.


Arbitration Act, 1940


AC Act.


Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996








Constitution of India, 1950.








Civil Procedure Code, 1908.




Delhi Development Authority.








et. cetera (and the rest).








High Court.




Ibidem- in the same place.





Sr. No.

Name of Case


Vinod Dua Vs Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 414


State Vs Disha Ravi, 2021 SCC Online Del 803


Umar Khalid Vs State of National Capital Delhi, 2022 SCC Online Del 3423


Kanhaiya Kumar Vs State of National Capital Delhi, 2017SCC Online Del 10975


Romesh Thapar v. The Territory of Madras, 2005 SCC Online


Indian Express Paper v. Association of India, 1999 SCC Online Mad 665


Sakal Paper v. Union of India, 2016 SCC Online 2102


Tara Singh Gopi Chand v. The State (1951), 2018 SCC Online 870


Ram Nandan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2014 SCC Online ALL 5229


Kedarnath Singh v State of Bihar, 1995 SCC Online 144


Balwant Singh v. State of Punjab, 2017 SCC Online 2879


Vinayak Sen v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2017 SCC Online 87


Jacob Mathew v. the Territory of Punjab (2005) , 2016 SCC Online 3749



Lalita Kumari v. Administration of Uttar Pradesh and Ors, 2011 SCC 331




ACKNOWLEDGEMENT........…………...…………. ….…........ii


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS……………....………………...…. iii


TABLE OF CASES…………………………………….……........iv


CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION........…………………………….……….…...1




CHAPTER II: SEDITION ………………………………………………….






CHAPTER IV: CASE ANALYSIS ……………………………..………………....


CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION……………………………………………………….


CHAPTER VI: BIBLIOGRAPHY………………………………………………………



This dissertation focuses on The Curtailment of Freedom of Press with exploiting the law of Sedition. I have done an in depth analysis of the Vinod Dua case, where he has a specific opinion of the Government. I have also discussed about Law of Sedition and its origin in my paper according to Section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code. My paper aims to understand the origin of Sedition and the impact of speech by a journalist. Further, this paper attempts to analyse the tolerance and limitation to freedom of speech. And in the last part of the paper I have finally, discussed an in depth analysis of the Vinod Dua case.


Keywords: Sedition, Vinod Dua, 124A IPC, Freedom of Speech and Expression, Fundamental Rights. 




The most rudimentary requirement of the human mind is to be able to express and communicate itself to other beings. The evolution of language to its present state, is proof of the fact that communication is the foundation of human life. Humans thrive on the exchange of information, to express and to gather material and to communicate the same to others, to form a bond with the members of the community. Interaction as a form of communication helps people to express their ideas and feelings within their community, and at the same time, helps us to understand emotions of the other persons.

Speech and expression, have mostly been regulated from the very beginning of civilization, that is, as soon as the ancient Greek civilization. They were the first ever civilization, to realize the importance of free speech as a right. The Greeks inspired France and England to adopt the freedom of speech as a right for all its citizens, by way of the Declaration of Man and Citizens and the English Constitution respectively. The most critical step in recognizing the significance of freedom of speech and expression was taken by the United Nations General Assembly while adopting the same under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[1], under Article 19 as a human right.

 Freedom of expression, is an incredible human right which permits beings to openly communicate their thoughts and ideas using variety of mediums such as writings, paintings, words and gestures. This freedom also includes communicating and propagating an individual’s opinion through visual mediums of communication or through the print media or any other channel of communication. Therefore, communication and propagation at such scale, does also include the freedom of press.

The Article 19 of  ICCPR stipulates that freedom of speech and expression[2] includes  transmission of information and idea regardless of boundaries, in either oral, written, print, art or any other form of media. In the context of India, Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech and expression to only its citizens and not foreign nationals[3]. The constitutional freedom also includes the right to express one’s opinion, along with the right to communicate and propagate the same views and opinions.

The right of communication that is referenced above, is viewed as one of the most essential components of a sound vote based system since it permits residents to take part in the social and political course of a country effectively, and thus, guaranteed by the constitution.

Different privileges that permit or help Indian culture create and advance are upheld by the right to speak freely of discourse and articulation which is likewise a key common liberty. According to the French free discourse and articulation have forever been one of the significant from the beginning of time as it works with many changes.

Discourse and articulation doesn’t only just incorporates the option to communicate one's thought process yet it additionally incorporates paying attention to other people. At the point when an individual communicates his/her perspective, it just conveys the natural worth of that assessment and being quiet on such an opinion is a foul play to the fundamental liberties of speech and expression.




Thomas Jefferson has rightly said, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost”, thereby reinforcing the importance of the freedom of press in a democratic state.

To save the democratic based lifestyle, it is important that individuals ought to have the opportunity to communicate their sentiments and to spread the word about their perspectives for individuals at large. The right to speak freely and to discourse on issues incorporates proliferation of one's perspectives through print media or some other correspondence stations like radio and TV, dependent upon sensible limitations forced under Article 19(2) of the Indian constitution.

The main fact is that, opportunity of the press isn't referred clearly in the Indian Constitution, yet it has been defined as a piece of the right to speak freely, discourse and articulate as considered by judges of the High Court through numerous cases. In the landmark judgement of Romesh Thapar v. The Territory of Madras, it has been concluded by the Honourable Madras High court that opportunity of the press is an inherent piece of the right to speak freely of discourse and articulation[4].

Trevor Timm, an American legal counselor and free press advocate, has aptly expressed that, “An independent press is one of the important pillars of democracy”. The Freedom of press has been continuously being a blockade against the secret government, against oppression and against dictatorship[5]. The press plays a pivotal role in showing the genuine substance of ideological groups and furthermore it also spots any kind of occurrence that has been camouflaged and shouldn't be visible to the ordinary citizens. The media has the ability to incite individuals against an ideological group by uncovering their reality. It provides a system of balance for governance in a democracy, using checks and balance.

In the leading case of  Indian Express Paper v. Association of India, it was held that the press assumes a significant part in the democratic government apparatus[6]. The honorable courts have an obligation to maintain the freedom of the press and should remove all the kinds of regulations and administrative activities that would take away their freedom.

 It is important to note, that the press has gradually been losing its significance in the country. Numerous legislators exploit the press to win a political race by leading to struggle among individuals. Over time, the freedom of the press has been smothered by the lawmaking and administrative bodies. The landmark case of Sakal Paper v. Union of India was one of the cases where, the Daily Newspapers (Price and Page) Order, 1960, fixed the quantity of pages and the size of the pages which a paper could distribute. In the following case it was stated that it disregarded the freedom of the press and wouldn’t come as a restriction under Article 19(2).




 Sedition, is an illegal act which is deemed to be committed against the state. Sedition has the same color as treason, as it solely consists of actions in furtherance of organizing and encouraging action against the government, in the form of either spoken words or written words, but is not as heinous as treason. The communication of seditious speech and writing were classified as crime under the English common law.

Macaulay was one of the prominent British historian-politician. According to him sedition could be defined  as an act by which ‘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[7]’. According to this definition of Sedition, for an act to amount to sedition, there must be clearly an intention to cause public disorder or disturbance and must hinder public peace and prosperity.

Origin and history of the Sedition charge, which was first included in Section 124 A of the Indian penal code in 1870, which was imposed by the British Colonial government as a tool of oppression to predominantly muffle the propagation of the ideologies of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, and Jogendra Chandra Bose through their writings and speeches. The colonial-era law of sedition has been widely criticized for being used as a muffling agent thereby restricting the speech and expression.

According to the section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, it penalizes anyone who by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation or by otherwise attempts to bring disaffection, hatred, or contempt against the government established by law[8]. Section 124A, clearly mentions that sedition is a non-bailable offence, and it is a punishable offence with imprisonment from three years up to lifetime. Fine too can be imposed. A person who particularly gets charged under this law is restricted from a government job and their passport is seized by the Indian government.

Our Constitution seeks to prevent the delivery and expression of hate speech under the ambit of free speech and expression. It also clearly restricts the expressions that can be insulting to others. Article 51A (h) of the Indian Constitution, talks about that the citizens of the country must develop scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform.




Sedition, since its inception has been hugely criticized, as its sole aim was to exist as a tool of oppression. Though adopted from the English Common Law, the provision of sedition does not find any space for itself in the present day English law, but rather still exists in India, and till date is being used against the citizens of the country on the ground of reasonable restriction to speech and expression.

Freedom of Speech and Expression were always under threat from unreasonable limitations. Similar is the case with the freedom of press. The limitation to the freedoms, had quite a large scope under the garb of the provision of Sedition, until the judiciary consciously aimed at limiting the scope of what would be seditious. The present application of the law of sedition has taken shape through variety of judicial pronouncements.

In the case of Romesh Thapar v State of Madras, the SC opined that “criticism of the government disaffection towards it, is not to be regarded as a justifying ground for restricting the freedom of expression and of the press, unless it aims to undermine the security of or tend to overthrow the state.” However, with the passage of time, it was realized by the Indian Judiciary in the cases of Tara Singh Gopi Chand v. The State (1951), and in the leading case of Ram Nandan v. State of Uttar Pradesh (1959)[9]. It clearly clarified that  Section 124A of the IPC was primarily a tool for colonial masters to completely eliminate discontent in the country  this provision was further on declared unconstitutional.

Further, in 1962,  a landmark case of Kedarnath Singh v State of Bihar[10], was brought before a five-judge Constitution Bench, which upheld the constitutional validity of IPC Section 124A while limiting the scope of the provision. The ruling restricted sedition only insofar as seditious speech tended to incite “public disorder” or a call for violence may know as Sedition.

Another judgement delivered in the case of Balwant Singh v. State of Punjab (1995)[11], reaffirmed that the real intent and the meaning of speech must be taken into account before tagging  it as seditious in nature. Further, subsequent ruling in the case of Vinayak Sen v. State of Chhattisgarh, help that if a person has merely circulated seditious material (speech) without authoring it, the person can still be convicted for sedition.

The key reason due to which the provision for sedition is the biggest threat to constructive criticism for the members of the democratic government, is the misuse of the provision against any form of comment or opinion. The analysis and findings given by the Law Commission of India and along with the Judgements delivered by Supreme Court, have emphasized on the continuous misuse of the sedition law. According to the judgement of the Kedar Nath case it puts the onus on the police who can register a case and then to distinguish them between a whether it is a legitimate speech or does it seize to be a seditious speech. Thus, trying to limit the misuse of the provision against real constructive opinions and suggestion.

The difference of the provision in its use and application, is bifurcated by the simple act of “incitement of public disorder”. The presence of the key component for the application of the provision is extremely important to make sure that there is no misuse of the same, by unreasonably limiting the freedom of speech and expression.  









Macaulay, who drafted the Indian Penal Code, had remembered the law for sedition, as an offense under segment 124A IPC through the Unique Demonstration XVII. The discipline endorsed then, transportation "past the oceans for the term of their normal life", and was subsequently altered to life detainment in 1955.

The arrangement was widely used to control political contradiction during the Autonomy development. A few pre-autonomy cases including Segment 124A of the IPC are against celebrated political dissidents, including Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Annie Besant, Shaukat and Mohammad Ali, Maulana Azad and Mahatma Gandhi. It is during this time that the most prominent preliminary on rebellion Sovereign Ruler v. Bal Gangadhar Tilak occurred in 1898.

 In the post-Freedom India, the Honourable Supreme Court on account of Kedarnath Singh v. Province of Bihar[12] set a cap for the extent of Segment 124A, by which just the people utilizing free discourse and articulation to prompt brutality and upset the law can be punished. On account of Shreya Singhal v. Association of India[13], the court underlined that there must be a level of closeness between the words expressed or communicated and the public issue that happens. Notwithstanding, as a general rule, there has been a proceeded with pattern where charges of subversion have been squeezed against people for reprimanding the public authority. Because of this maltreatment of the law, requests have been made to cancel the Part to safeguard the sacredness of free discourse and articulation.

As of late in a request against the rebellion body of evidence documented against the Senior columnist, Vinod Dua, Vinod Dua v. Association of India, the High Court maintained his editorial opportunity and said that each columnist is qualified for security and the subversion regulation must be applied as given in the Kedarnath judgment[14]. A BJP pioneer in Himachal Pradesh had documented a FIR against Vinod Dua for censuring the State head and the Association government on his Youtube channel. The court suppressed the FIR. Simply last year, in Vinod Dua v Association of India, the High Court suppressed FIRs with charges of subversion against the writer for reprimanding State leader Narendra Modi's treatment of the Coronavirus emergency and advised against unlawful use of the arrangement.

The High Court has consented to hear a new test against the arrangement after a bunch of petitions were recorded by writers, Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha, Kanhaiya Lal Shukla; and Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, among others. This would include a seven-judge seat thinking about whether the Kedar Nath administering was accurately settled. Albeit the public authority at first safeguarded the arrangement contending that "secluded occurrences of abuse" don't require evacuation of the actual arrangement, it has now let the court know that it is pondering a new survey of the pilgrim regulation.The court's mediation is critical on the grounds that on the off chance that it strikes down the arrangement, it should overrule the Kedar Nath administering and maintain the previous decisions that were liberal on free discourse. Be that as it may, on the off chance that the public authority chooses to survey the law, either by weakening the language or revoking it, it might in any case get back the arrangement an alternate structure.

In the case of State vs Disha Ravi, The Patiala House Court, a lower court in the Indian capital of New Delhi, in its break choice conceded bail to the charged engaged with the creation and sharing of the 'toolkit' records (Tool stash) via web-based entertainment corresponding to the cross country challenges the recently presented Ranchers Bills in India. The help arrives in an application recorded by the Respondent/charged who was captured for the offenses of sedition and criminal connivance, among others, for her contribution in creation and sharing of a bunch of the computerized Tool compartment. While permitting the Respondent's bail application due to the absence of any solid explanation or proof that would bring about the opposite, the Court mentioned appropriate objective facts on pertinence of law of rebellion. The Court has maintained a resident's more right than wrong to dispute and dissent, which privileges are safeguarded under the key right to free discourse. Contradiction and dissimilarity of assessment is an indication of a sound vote based system. The Court likewise held that the option to look for a worldwide crowd with next to no geological obstructions on correspondence is likewise a piece of the right to speak freely of discourse and articulation[15].

In the case of Umar Khalid vs Union of India, and Kaniya Kumar vs National Capital Delhi in these both cases certain comments were passed by them against the government which lead to the destruction of peace and harmony in the country. There were protests and riots on a very large scale that could not be imagined by anyone. They both were charged under Sedition and various other offences and were seeing to encourage violence and destroy the peace and harmony of the country. Hence their bail got denied by the court.




Facts of the case:

The facts of this case are that Mr. Vinod Dua, is a journalist by profession for many years. Through excellence in his field he has also received a Padmashri award. He during Covid-19 had released a YouTube video on his channel by the name of HW News Network on 30th of March, 2020 as a complete episode of his show “The Vinod Dua Show”. Mr. Dua who is the petitioner in this case,  had an episode aired on 30th March,2020 spoke about the nationwide lockdown which was imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. He further discussed the critical health issues caused by Covid-19. He mentioned in his episode that the government did not have sufficient facilities for testing. Further he also mentioned that there was a lack of sufficient information on the availability of materials like PPE kits, N95 masks, etc. which was essential during the pandemic[16]. He further laid emphasis about the major labour migration issue faced in our country due to the lockdown. The petitioner Mr Dua on his channel was laying out untrue and misleading information relating to the Prime Minister of India and that he is initiating the violence amongst the citizens and disturbing the peace, harmony and tranquility of the public at large. Petitioner also mentioned in his response said that the contents in the video are simply and clearly the critical analyses of the functioning of the Government and there is nothing derogatory mentioned there.

 On the 6th June, 2020 there was an FIR which was registered, where the two different clippings of the video made the following comments:

 • At 5 minutes and 9 seconds of the episode and at the 5 minutes and 45 seconds of the episode – Vinod Dua stated that the ‘Honorable Prime minister Narendra Modi has used deaths and terror attacks to garner votes. He further claims that the government does not have enough testing facilities and has made false statements about the availability of the Personal Protective Kits (PPE) and has stated that there is no sufficient information on those’[17].

FIR was recorded under Section 124A, 268, 501, 505 of the Indian Penal Code as there was a clear violation. Later on the petitioner Mr Dua was sent a legal notice. He was asked to appear at the police station in Kumarsain, Himachal Pradesh under the guidelines of Section 160 Code of Criminal Procedure. Mr Dua had filed in the response that because of various serious health problems which didn’t allow him to travel from Delhi to Himachal Pradesh.  He was present in all the proceedings in different kinds of online modes.

Petitioner’s Prayer:

The petitioner in his prayer has claimed a relief under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution:

Firstly, ‘he has asked the Honourable court to quash FIR No. 0053 dated 06.05.2020 registered at Police Station Kumarsain, District Shimla, Himachal Pradesh’[18]. Secondly, he has also ‘Directed that henceforth FIRs against persons belonging to the media with at least 10 years standing to be not registered unless cleared by a committee to be constituted by every State Government, the composition of which should comprise of the Chief Justice of the High Court or a Judge designated by him, the leader of the Opposition and the Home Minister of the State’.


1. The comments passed by petitioner Mr Dua will fall under sedition according to 124A of IPC?

 2. Is Mr Dua guilty of leading a public nuisance or an illegal omission which can cause an injury according to Section 268 of IPC?

3. Will Mr Dua’s comments fall under the broad concept of defamation according to section 501 of the Indian Penal Code?

 4. Whether the petitioner i.e. Mr Vinod Dua had a clear intention and motive to cause public mischief under section 505 of the Indian Penal Code?

5. In case there is a necessity for the judiciary to establish a committee to check and clear the FIRs issued against the persons of media with at least 10 years.?

Arguments of the Petitioner:

 • Mr Dua’s lawyer insight firmly opposed that Section No. 124A, 268, 501, and 505 of IPC can't be charged on him, because this video was in light of the fact that it is an unadulterated and basic examination of working of the public authority. The Indian government can't be cited under the above offenses and as a journalist he is qualified to do such an act.

 •The definition of Sedition under Section 124 A of IPC[19], ‘states about playing out specific demonstrations which would bring disdain or hatred, and so forth to the Government of India, laid out by regulation which would instigate brutality or make a public unsettling influence’. The candidate's lawyer contended that his client has not played out any activity against the Public authority of India that would instigate savagery or make a public unsettling influence.

• His client looked for the subduing of the FIR held up against him in Himachal Pradesh, the solicitor looked for rules from the Prominent Court that is the Supreme Court in regard of lodging of FIRs against people having a place with the media of a specific remaining as finished on account of clinical experts vide judgment in Jacob Mathew v. the Territory of Punjab (2005)[20], 52 attested by the Constitution Seat judgment in Lalita Kumari v. Administration of Uttar Pradesh and Ors[21].

 •Client's lawyer adviced contended that the articulation is given in the FIR, "Hon’ble Prime Minister used threats and terror acts to garner votes"; "State head collected votes through the demonstration of psychological oppression" is really erroneous and an affirmation of any kind wasn’t made by the candidate.

 •Lawyer additionally contended that components expected for giving demonstration to be characterized as an offense under Segment 501 and 505 were not laid out clearly at anyplace[22].

 •The lawyer at last raised the contention expressing that starting a proceeding against his client is dominance of power and is being contradictory to the key privileges ensured and enriched under the Constitution of India. 

  • Hence Dua mentioned, that this particular FIR to be quashed.

 Argument given by the Respondent:

 • It was argued by the respondents that the petitioner, Mr Vinod Dua had clearly made an attempt to spread misinformation or inaccurate information on his video which was aired on YouTube. This particular instance created a major situation of panic and disblief amongst the people for the government. Due to this many people had supported, “some people feared that there could be food riots post lockdown” which had no grounds and had completely created a havoc among the peace and tranquility of the citizens. This kind of act would be covered and be punishable Under Sections 52 and 54 of The Disaster Management Act[23]. According to Section 52 of the Disaster Management Act, it is punishment given when a person makes false claims. Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act clearly specifies the punishment made for a false warning by the person.

• The second prayer that was mentioned in the petition in regard to that the counsel had argued that if the particular mentioned prayer was granted then it would be observed by everyone that the judiciary is overstepping in the field and is interfering in the area of the legislature. The sanction for preliminary inquiry as mentioned by the petitioner would not be permitted to law and will be opposed.

 • The respondent further also stated in front of the Honourable bench that the  petitioner did not physically arrive before the Himachal Pradesh Police even after sending the notice. It was also further stated that there is a clear violation of Section 188 Code of Criminal Procedure read along with Section 511 of the Indian Penal Code for disobeying the orders of the concerned authorities.[24] The respondent had clearly requested an investigation on the same matter as they let Section 188 be brought along with Section 195 and would be relatable to the stage of cognizance by Court.

 • The Press Council of India (2010 Edition) has established the Norms of Journalist Conduct, Mr Dua  the petitioner was obliged to check the facts, data, and their sources thoroughly and only then he should be allowed to authenticate before publishing or making such statements in the light of the Covid -19 pandemic.

Judgement by the Honourable Supreme Court:

The Honorable Supreme court has given the following judgment as follows:

 • Supreme Court quashed FIR No. 0053 which was dated 6.5.2020, registered at Police Station Kumarsain, Distt. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, against the Petitioner[25], The court embarked “… a citizen has a right to criticize or comment upon the measures undertaken by the Government and its functionaries, so long as he does not incite people to violence against the Government established by law or to create public disorder; and that it is only when the words or expressions have pernicious tendency or intention of creating public disorder or disturbance of law and order that Sections 124A and 505 of the IPC must step in.” The court was of the observation that the petitioner as a journalist has the right to exercise his concern. Within that scope the petitioner was permitted to criticize the actions of the government.

• The Honourable court rejected that the prayer of registering no  FIR  against a person belonging to the media with at least 10 years of standing unless cleared by the Committee as suggested[26].

It also held that there should be no overlap between the duty of the legislature and judiciary and they should also not overstep their boundaries which are there mentioned duties.

 Analysis of the Case:

The arguments were mainly based on Section 124A,268,501,505 Indian Penal Code, Sections 52 and 54 of The Disaster Management Act, and Section 188 read along with Section 195 and 511.

 Section 124A is described as (Sedition) under the Indian Penal Code.  Section 268 of the Indian Penal Code means an act of creating (Public Nuisance) and section 505 of the Indian Penal Code refers to the Statements that constitute to public mischief.

The FIR which was lodged against the petitioner i.e. Mr Vinod Dua. He was spreading misleading information during the Covid-19 pandemic which created huge panic and discomfort among the citizens of the country. Mr Dua through his false allegations in the video instigated dislike towards the Government of India. The respondents had seen this video in totality. After watching they firmly believed that the main intention to post this video is to create hate towards the government of India, whereas the petitioner had claimed that this video is nothing more than the critical analysis of the way the government is functioning. The petitioner further also stated that his profession of journalism and as citizen of the country it is his fundamental rights to express his views. He mentioned under Article 19(1)(A), i.e. he has the right to freedom of speech and expression and nobody can take away his fundamental rights away from him.

According to the in depth analysis, it can be stated that no charges of Sedition are applicable on Mr Vinod Dua who is the petitioner in this case. It can be stated on the following grounds:

1. Mr Vinod Dua who is the petitioner in this case. Clearly in his video he had not mentioned about the Prime Minister used any kinds of terror attacks to gain votes from the citizen of the country. He had just made an opinion regarding the Prime Minister that he had gained votes through recent attacks and airstrikes. There was no specific allegation made by him.

2. The things mentioned about the availability N95 masks, PPE kits, and testing facilities by Mr Dua was just a basic analysis of that particular situation that time[27].

3. The next thing mentioned by Mr Dua is his video was the issue relating to the migration of workers. The main fact was before this video was aired there was already migration begin in the different parts of the country. Mr Dua had just raised a concern as an active journalist.

The Court came to an end by giving the statements “can at best be termed as an expression of disapprobation of actions of the Government and its functionaries so that prevailing situation could be addressed quickly and efficiently. They were certainly not made with the intent to incite people or showed a tendency to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence.” It can be summarized that since these charges are being removed any further prosecutions on the same grounds would be an exploitation of Article 19(1)(A).

Through the judgements delivered by court the main charges imposed of Sedition on the petitioner Mr Vinod Dua were removed. Some of the another charges that was also imposed on Mr Vinod Dua was that he didn’t follow the order of the court to be physical available for the interrogation and proceeding. 

• According to the Section 52 and 54 of The Disaster Management Act there is a clear and* strict punishment for false claim and warning. According to the Honourable court clearly the petitioner Mr Dua in his video had only raise a concern and has basically criticized the measures that were adopted by the government of India. It was clear that he had no intention to disturb the peace and harmony of the common people. The Supreme Court held that “… a citizen has a right to criticize or comment upon the measures undertaken by the Government and its functionaries, so long as he does not incite people to violence against the Government established by law or to create public disorder; and that it is only when the words or expressions have pernicious tendency or intention of creating public disorder or disturbance of law and order that Sections 124A and 505 of the IPC must step in.”

The Honourable Supreme Court gave two significant landmark judgments in Express Newspapers Pvt. Ltd. & Ors vs Union Of India & Ors[28] and Sakal Papers (P) Ltd., And Others vs The Union Of India[29], the Honourable court has given their view on criticizing the government they believe that, “concept of a free press is freedom of political opinion and at the core of that freedom lies the right to criticize the Government, because it is only through free debate and the free exchange of ideas that Government remains representation to the will of the people and orderly change is effected.”

• There was another allegation on the petitioner that he was disobeying the order of public servant according to Section 188 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Such an offence can lead the petitioner under the prosecution for contempt according to Section 195 of the Criminal Procedure code. According to Section 511 of the Criminal Procedure Code there is a Punishment for attempting to commit offenses punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonments[30].

Mr Vinod Dua had sent a written reply immediately to the concerned authorities after he was asked to appear for the interrogation in Himachal Pradesh according to the notice.

He stated the he to face these obstacles due to his health condition. They are as follows:

1. According to the notice given Himachal Pradesh government on 05th May,2020 in relation to Covid-19 Pandemic. In the notice it was clearly mentioned that  any person coming from the red zone states is directed to be in a  quarantine room arranged by the government for 14 days. The petitioner stated that he resides in New Delhi, which is  a red zone, and then he would be forced to be in quarantine for 14 days which will affect his health.

 2. According to the Ministry of Health guidelines all the people who were more than 65 plus age were not supposed to travel due to safety reasons. Mr Dua the petitioner is 66 years old.

 3. He had also mentioned in his reply that he suffers from a disease called, ‘Thalassemia minor with Iron deficiency anemia, pancytopenia (low red & white blood cell and low platelet count), chronic liver disease with portal hypertension & splenomegaly, diabetes, and hypothyroidism. He also has esophageal varices with a high risk of bleeding’. Therefore, the doctors have asked him that stepping out of his house would be dangerous for his health and life.

4. The petitioner had agreed and given the commitment to the court that he will be present in the interrogation through an online mode as decided by the court.

Finally, the court ordered to let go of the charges on him. The court also ordered the concerned authorities to either go and visit his home in New Delhi or gave them an option to interrogate him through an online medium.

The Court gave out the prayer stating that “It is the duty of the legislature and judiciary should not overstep to their area or field of duty”. The court also considered Kedar Nath Singh vs. the State of Bihar and stated that the journalists are entitled to protection as every prosecution Under Sections 124A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code.[31]

According to my analysis we can come to an end by stating that the petitioner Mr Vinod Dua was just raising a concern and he had no malaise intentions to criticize the Government of India. We can also state that he during the pandemic he just expressed his rights under freedom of speech and didn’t cause any chaos or hindrance to the functioning of the Government. Thus, we can end our discussion by stating that he was fulfilling his responsibilities as the citizen of the country. It is completely the decision of the legislature to decide whether there is a need to establish a committee of various dignified individuals to protect their rights.         







Vinod Dua V. Association of India is viewed as a milestone judgment that has maintained the ethicalness of the right to speak freely of discourse and articulation and understanding the freedom that is required to journalist to perform his duty. In today’s time journalism is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy.

The court for this situation did a top to bottom examination of each and every assertion advised in the video to come up with such a judgment. Subsequently one might say that there is just a slim line of distinction between being capable and flippant, and during these difficult stretches each individual should act mindfully and the obligation to act dependably as they are the eye of individuals and the entirety populace will in general have most extreme confidence in them.

Presently the journalist should be fair-minded, non-manipulative, and honest toward the general public they serve, and then again, and it is the obligation of the lawmaking body, leader, and legal executive to comprehend the need of both the media and its opportunity for the manageability of a majority rule government and to a great extent be tolerating towards open analysis with practically no malevolence or contempt. Both journalism and democracy should go hand in hand. Journalists are allowed to make statements, comments etc. within the ambit of Article 19, but they aren’t allowed to speak against the government of India. Hence, the dignity of both will be maintained.









  • Indian Penal Code
  • Criminal Procedure Court


Web sources:

  • http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/
  • https://journals.sagepub.com/
  • https://rgnul.ac.in/
  • https://www.nlb.gov.sg/
  • https://www.researchgate.net/
  • https://www.semanticscholar.org/





[1] P. Anand, S. Bhatt, and Rahmatullah Khan, Law, Science and Environmen (New Delhi, India: South

Asia Books, 1987), https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/law-science-and-environment-r-p-


[2] Jane Connors and Markus Schmidt, “United Nations,” in Daniel Moeckli, Sangeeta Shah, and Sandesh

Sivakumaran (eds.), Textbook on International Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2d edition,

2013): 371.

[3] https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-kedar-nath-singh-judgment-the-1962-verdict-sc-quoted-in-vinod-dua-sedition-case-7343003/#:~:text=Express%20Photo%2FFile)-,The%20Supreme%20Court%20Thursday%20quashed%20the%20sedition%20case%20registered%20against,show%20criticising%20the%20central%20government.

[4] Romesh Thapar v. The Territory of Madras, 2005 SCC Online

[5] https://www.drishtiias.com/blog/freedom-of-press-in-india

[6] Indian Express Paper v. Association of India, 1999 SCC Online Mad 665



[9] 2014 SCC On-line

[10] Kedarnath Singh v State of Bihar, 1995 SCC Online 144

[11] Balwant Singh v. State of Punjab, 2017 SCC Online 2879

[12] Kedarnath Singh vs State of Bihar, 1995 SCC Online 144

[13] Shreya Singhal vs Association of India

[14] Vinod Dua vs Association of India , 2021 SCC OnLine SC 414

[15] Disha Ravi vs State,  2021 SCC Online Del 803

[16] Supranote 45

[17] Supranote 61

[18] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/50969306/


[20] Jacob Mathew v. the Territory of Punjab (2005) 6 SCC 1 para 51

[21] Lalita Kumari v. Administration of Uttar Pradesh and Ors (2014) 2 SCC 1 para 115.

[22] Supranote 45

[23] (1997) 1 SCC 388


[25] Supranote 3

[26] Supranote 21

[27] Varij Sharma, India: Covid-19 And The Revamping Of The Indian Legal System, MONDAQ ( May 17,2021) https://www.mondaq.com/india/operational-impacts-and-strategy/1068670/covid-19-and-the-revamping-of-the-indian-legal-system

[28] Express Newspapers Pvt. Ltd. & Ors vs Union Of India & Ors

[29] Sakal Papers (P) Ltd., And Others vs The Union Of India

[30] (1996) 5 SCC 647

[31] Kedar Nath Singh vs. the State of Bihar (20.01.1962 – SC)


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