The Congress announced on Tuesday that it will pass a new law in the first session of the next Lok Sabha to prevent and punish hate crimes such as "mob-engineered" lynching, stripping and burning if voted to power.
As announced, the proposed law will include provisions that will compensate victims and to hold the police and district administration accountable for proven negligence.
The Party has often alleged that hate crimes have reasonably increased under the BJP’s rule while no strong action was taken against the accused. However, BJP has denied all such allegations saying that action has been taken whenever such incidents have occurred.
Under the section of the review of laws, rules and regulation in its manifesto, Congress proposed to omit Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code which defines the offence of ''sedition'', saying it has been "misused" and become "redundant because of subsequent laws".
The party has also called for decriminalizing laws that are essential laws directed against civil violations and can also be subjected to civil penalties.
Furthermore, it has spoken about omitting Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code and making ''defamation'' a civil offense.
Regarding media freedom, the party claimed that certain sections of the media have "abused or surrendered their freedom" in recent times. The party added, "Nevertheless, we believe that self-regulation is the best way to correct the abuse of media freedom. Congress promises to amend the Press Council of India Act, 1978 to strengthen the system of self-regulation, protect the freedom of journalists, uphold editorial independence and guard against government interference.