Expression of views different from the opinion of the government cannot be termed seditious, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday while dismissing a petition filed against former National Conference President Farooq Abdullah over his remarks on scrapping of Article 370.
“Expression of views which are dissent and different from government opinion cannot be termed as seditious,” a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was quoted as saying by India Today.
The court dismissed the PIL filed against the National Conference leader and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner after he failed to substantiate his allegation that Abdullah sought help of China and Pakistan to criticise India over the issue of Article 370.
Last year, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir had last year said China “never accepted” the abrogation of Article 370, and he hoped that it would be restored with their support.
“Whatever they are doing at LAC in Ladakh all because of the abrogation of Article 370, which they never accepted. I am hopeful that with their support, Article 370 will be restored in J-K,” Abdullah had said.
New Delhi had scrapped the special status granted to J-K under Article 370 on 5 August, 2019, and divided into the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.