Under attack for arresting JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi on Tuesday defended the action, saying that doing away with the provision of sedition would be "unjust" and added that it should not be diluted for the interest of the nation.
"Diluting the provision of sedition for a section of the society which celebrates when a soldier returns home from Jammu and Kashmir in a coffin should not happen, at least for the interest of the nation," he said after citing a few slogans, which he termed "unacceptable" even as he did not directly refer to the controversial JNU event.
"If one needs to protect the Constitution, one has to have provisions to deal with elements which pose threat to it. To do away with the legal provision of sedition will be unjust," the police chief said in an interview to a news channel.
"It would be wrong to say that the provision of sedition in the Indian Penal Code is obsolete. If time is the only parameter, then provisions of punishing for murder and theft were incorporated in the IPC much earlier," he said, adding Section 124 A is a time-tested provision of law.
Questioning the role of think tanks and intellectuals who have severely criticised him for his actions time and again, Bassi said that those who are criticising the law of sedition should contemplate what is happening all over the nation.
The top cop has been at the receiving end for police action in connection with the sedition case registered over the controversial event at JNU and also for Delhi Police's alleged failure to control violence that broke out at Patiala House court premises where Kanhaiya was produced, not once but twice.
Bassi also said that instead of debating on the scrapping down provisions of sedition law, its purview should be expanded keeping in mind the methods used by terror outfits to operate these days.
"At this age, handlers (from terror outfits) spot talents and nurture them from thousands of miles away, convincing them to incite violence and work against the interests of the nation," he said.
"The provision of IPC Section 124 A should rather be rephrased so that a common person can understand it without having to question the police every time," he said.