Speech can be criminalised only in situations where it is being used to incite crowds to violent action.
News reports are indicating that an FIR has been registered
with respect to a public meeting organised on New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru
University campus on the evening of February 9. These reports claim that the
meeting was about the hanging of Afzal Guru, and it is alleged that during its
course, some people raised incendiary slogans. According to reports, the FIR
has been registered under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (sedition), and
the police have already arrested one person.
It is important to note that under the Indian law of
sedition, the events at the public meeting, even if completely true, do not
even come close to establishing an offence. In Kedar Nath Singh’s case, five judges
of the Supreme Court – a Constitution bench – made it clear that allegedly
seditious speech and expression may be punished only if the speech is an “incitement”
to “violence”, or “public disorder”. Subsequent cases have further clarified
the meaning of this phrase. In Indra Das v State of Assamand Arup Bhuyan v State of Assam,
the Supreme Court unambiguously stated that only speech that amounts to
“incitement to imminent lawless action” can be criminalised. In Shreya Singhal v Union of India,
the famous 66A judgment, the Supreme Court drew a clear distinction between
“advocacy” and “incitement”, stating that only the latter could be punished.
Therefore, advocating revolution, or advocating even violent
overthrow of the state, does not amount to sedition, unless there is incitement
to violence, and more importantly, the incitement is to “imminent” violence.
For instance, in Balwant
Singh v State of Punjab, the Supreme Court overturned the convictions for sedition,
(124A, IPC) and “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of
religion, race etc.”, (153A, IPC), and acquitted persons who had shouted, “Khalistan zindabaad, Raj Karega Khalsa,” and, “Hinduan Nun Punjab Chon Kadh Ke
Chhadange, Hun Mauka Aya Hai Raj Kayam Karan Da”, late evening on October 31, 1984, i.e. a few hours after Indira Gandhi’s assassination – outside a cinema
in a market frequented by Hindus and Sikhs in Chandigarh.
Thus, words and speech can be criminalised and punished only
in situations where it is being used to incite mobs or crowds to violent
action. Mere words and phrases by themselves, no matter how distasteful, do not
amount to a criminal offence unless this condition is met.
What to look for when buying your first car in India
Hint: It doesn’t have to be a small car.
When it comes to buying their first car, more Indians are making unconventional choices. Indian car buyers in 2016 are looking for an automobile that is a symbol of their aspirations and sets them apart from the herd. Here are a few things you should consider when buying your first car:
Look beyond small cars
According to the JD Power India Escaped Study (2015), the percentage of new-vehicle shoppers who considered a small car reduced by 20% over three years—from 65% to 45%. Buyers are now looking at bigger, affordable cars and luckily for them, there are more choices available. Known as compact sedans, these cars offer the features of a sedan, are larger than hatchbacks and contain a boot. These sedans offer the comfort and features that once only belonged to expensive luxury cars but at a price that’s within the reach of a first-time car buyer.
Design and styling is important but don’t forget utility.
It’s a good idea to have a car that has been designed over the past three years and doesn’t look outdated. Features like alloy wheels and dual beam headlamps add to the style quotient of your vehicle so consider those. Additionally, look for a car with a sturdy build quality since Indian urban conditions may not always be kind to your car and may furnish it with scrapes and dents along the way.
Does it test-drive well?
In 2014, 35% of new-vehicle buyers researched vehicles when they were buying but by 2015, this number had risen to nearly 41% according to the JD Power study. While the internet is the primary source of research in India, the best source of information about a car is always a test drive. Listen to the sales person and read all online reviews, but test every feature to your satisfaction.
Where do you plan to drive?
Look for a car that’s spacious and comfortable while being easy to drive or park on our crowded city roads. Compact sedans are perfectly suited for Indian driving conditions. Some of them come with parking assistance and rear view cameras, rain sensors and front fog lights with static cornering that are excellent driving aids. If you plan to use the car for long drives, compact sedans that provide cruise control, a tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel and a front centre armrest would be perfect. On road trips with family members who usually pack more than necessary, extra elbow room inside and good boot-space is a blessing.
Is the model about to be discontinued?
Never buy a model that is going to be discontinued because it could result in difficulty finding spare parts. Buying an old model will also affect your resale value later. In 2015, according to the same report, 10% of shoppers considered newly launched car models as against 7% in 2013—a strong indication that newer models are being preferred to old ones.
Diesel or petrol?
Diesel and petrol cars have different advantages, and it’s best to take a decision based on the distance you plan to drive on a regular basis. While petrol cars are usually priced lower and are more cost effective when it comes to service and maintenance, diesel cars typically have better mileage due to higher efficiency and provide a smoother drive due to higher torque. Additionally, diesel is the cheaper fuel. So it makes more economic sense to buy a diesel car if you are driving long distances every day.
Most importantly, safety always comes first.
Look for a car that is built sturdy and pays extra attention to safety features like Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS), side impact bars and dual front airbags. Safety is also a function of the design and features such as a galvanized steel body add to the strength of the build. It’s important to remember not to make trade-offs on safety for less important features when choosing variants.
Buying your first car is an important milestone in life. And the new Volkswagen Ameo has been designed with several first-in-segment features to cater to all the needs of a first-time car buyer in India. Its bold design and elegant styling along with state-of-the-art features like cruise control, reverse parking camera and sensors, and intelligent rain sensors set it apart from other cars in its class. Its safety features are also a notch above, with dual front airbags that are standard in every variant and side impact bars. A sturdy galvanized steel body and laser welded roof cocoon its passengers from harm, and its modern ABS, that is also standard in all variants, prevents the wheels from locking when you brake hard. A six-year perforation warranty and a three-year paint warranty ensure that the car body is protected from scratches and dents. The Ameo comes in both petrol and diesel variants. Check out all the features of the Ameo here. Also hear the experience of two first time car buyers in the video below.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Volkswagen and not by the Scroll editorial team.