indian flag Saikat Paul/ Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire

印度刑法典已过时

新德里—在印度,许多看似无关的矛盾其实有一个重要共同点:它们都与英国殖民统治者在十九世纪中叶制定的刑法有关,而印度不能或不愿在此基础上有所进步。

英国制定的印度刑法典的问题包括禁止“暴动”(sedition)、同性恋有罪以及不公平的通奸指控。暴动的定义十分松散——煽动“对法定政府的不满”的言论或行为。特别是前两个问题,它们是最近民情汹涌的源头——理应如此。这些条款——正如我在下议院(我为议员)提议修订它们时所指出的——很容易被当局滥用,抵触印度人民的宪法权利。

以暴动为例,1870年制定了一项镇压对英国警察的批评的严苛的反暴动法律,任何批评,甚至如一位直率的英国人所指出的,不包括“绝对违反和平”的批评,都是镇压对象。后来它成为印度刑法典第124条A款,根据这一条款,任何人使用“语言、信号或视觉呈现……煽动对政府的不满”都可能被诉以暴动罪,可判终身监禁。换句话说,印度没有言论自由。

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