Opposition leaders and activists on Wednesday hailed the Supreme Court’s decision to put the sedition law in abeyance. A three-judge bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli also requested the Centre and state governments to not file any new cases under the rule till it is re-examined.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said that speaking the truth is not sedition.

“To speak the truth is patriotism, not sedition...” he wrote on Twitter. “To listen to the truth is duty of the State, to trample the truth is arrogance of the State.”

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, one of the petitioners who challenged the law, described the verdict as a victory.

“Supreme Court stays Sec 124A- no new cases can be filed, existing cases can apply for bail & release immediately,” she wrote on Twitter.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that the judgement was a “welcome news”, adding that he was proud of his party colleague Kapil Sibal, who appeared as one of the the lawyers to put “the sedition law on ice”.

Tharoor pointed out that he had introduced a Private Member’s Bill in 2016 to scrap the law and that the Congress had also promised to do so in its 2019 Lok Sabha elections manifesto.

Private member’s Bills are introduced by MPs who are not ministers. The Bills introduced by ministers are called government Bills.

Amnesty India Chairperson Aakar Patel expressed hope that the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act will also be done away with.

“Modernity is intolerant of medievalism and will bring all nations into the future,” Patel wrote on Twitter. “Those unwilling will be yanked.”

Meanwhile, after the judgement, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told reporters that all organs of the State should ensure not to cross a line, ANI reported.

“We have made our positions very clear and also informed the court about intention of our prime minister,” Rijiju said. “We respect the court and its independence. But there’s a ‘lakshman rekha’ that must be respected by all organs of the state in letter and spirit.”

The provisions of the Constitution and the existing laws should be respected, he added.