The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) started collecting data on ‘Offences against the State’ from 2014. The NCRB included cases registered under Sections 121,121A, 122, 123, 124A, 153A & 153B of IPC in this category. Out of the 512 cases registered in this category, only 47 cases were sedition related. Bulk of the 512 cases were related to promoting enmity between groups.
The country is once again discussing Sec 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), more commonly known as Sedition. While the debate on this particular section’s relevance in a modern society continues, data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) provides some interesting insights. The NCRB started collecting data on cases booked under this section, only from 2014. A total of 47 cases were registered under Sec 124A in 2014 out of which 34 were registered in Bihar & Jharkhand alone.
Offences against the State & Sedition
Starting 2014, the NCRB started classifying crimes under different heads as offences against the State. Sec 124A is also included under this head.
The NCRB considers crimes directed against the existence of the state like treason, sedition, and rebellion as offences against the state. According to NCRB, Treason is the crime of betraying a nation by acts considered dangerous to its security like selling military secrets to a foreign power, giving aid to the enemy in time of war etc. Sedition refers generally to the offence related to conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or government. Rebellion is the attempted overthrow of a government. In addition to these crimes, the NCRB also included offences promoting enmity between different groups as ‘Offences against the State’ as they disturb tranquility in the society and are prejudicial to national integration.
More than 70% of the Sedition cases were booked in Bihar & Jharkhand
As per the NCRB data, a total of 47 cases were registered under Sec 124A across the country in 2014. Out of the 47 cases, 18 were registered in Jharkhand, 16 in Bihar and 5 in Kerala. 2 cases were registered in each of Odisha & West Bengal. One case each was registered in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh & Himachal Pradesh. Sedition cases were registered in only 9 states in 2014. Not a single case of sedition was registered in 20 other states. In none of the Union Territories, sedition cases were registered.
A total of 58 persons were arrested under charges of sedition in 2014. 55 of these are male and 3 are female. 28 persons were arrested in Bihar for 16 cases while only 18 persons were arrested in Jharkhand for 18 cases. All the three women arrested under sedition charges were arrested in Odisha. Not a single person was arrested in Andhra Pradesh & West Bengal though sedition cases were registered.
Only 9% of the Offences against the State are Sedition related
A total of 512 cases were registered in 2014 that were categorized was ‘Offences against the State’. 63% of these cases were registered under Sec 153A of the IPC, promoting enmity between different groups. Only 9% of these offences are related to sedition. About 25% of the cases were registered under Sections 121, 121A, 122, & 123 of IPC. Majority of the cases under Sec 153A were registered in just four states of Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra & Rajasthan.