The Centre told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that it was not planning to scrap the British-era sedition law, ANI reported. The Narendra Modi said in a written submission during Question Hour that the law was necessary to “effectively combat anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements”, according to the Hindustan Times.

“There is no proposal to scrap the provision under the IPC [Indian Penal Code] dealing with the offence of sedition,” said Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai. “There is a need to retain the provision to effectively combat anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements.”

Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code says: “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, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.”

The Congress, in its 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto, had promised to scrap the sedition law if brought to power. Former Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said the Bharatiya Janata Party would strengthen the law.