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‘Opinion against govt isn’t sedition’: India’s apex court on a plea against NC chief over his ‘China remark’

In a relief for National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, India’s apex court on Wednesday said the expression of views that are different from the opinion of the government cannot be termed seditious.

The observation came as the top court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation against the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Abdullah for making statements against the scrapping of Article 370.

A two-judge Supreme Court bench said dissent cannot be termed seditious. The top court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the petitioners for filing the plea against Abdullah.

The plea cited alleged remarks made by Abdullah that he sought the help of China and Pakistan against India on Article 370.

The National Conference had rubbished reports that its patron Farooq Abdullah, during a television interview, said that Article 370 of the Constitution will be restored in the Kashmir Valley with China’s help.

“The act of Abdullah is very serious against the interest of the nation therefore he deserves to be removed from the Parliament”, the plea had claimed.

The plea contended that Abdullah’s statement is anti-national and seditious and the government should be directed to take appropriate action declaring him as an undeserving candidate to be a member of Parliament.

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