The police in Kurukshetra district booked a person allegedly for outraging religious sentiments of the Sikh community by posting objectionable content on social media. The accused has been identified as Malkit Singh of Ratangarh Dera in Kurukshetra. Acting on the complaint of Amrinder Singh, manager of Gurudwara Patshahi Chhevin, Kurukshetra, Malkit was booked under Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion) and 505 of IPC at Thanesar City police station.
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In his complaint, Amrinder claimed, “A person namely Malkit Singh who has made a facebook identity with a name VVIP Mobiles Numbers has posted objectionable content on Facebook against the Sikh community and Gurudwara Sahib, thus hurting sentiments of community.” Amrinder said, “In some of his Facebook posts, Malkit has claimed to be state co-convenor of IT Cell of BJP Kisan Morcha Haryana. We have lodged a complaint against him. The matter has been brought to the knowledge of SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal too.”
- SECTION 295A:
Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.— Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
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- IT Act, 2000
Section 66A –
of the IT Act has been enacted to regulate the social media law India and assumes importance as it controls and regulates all the legal issues related to social media law India. This section clearly restricts the transmission, posting of messages, emails, comments which can be offensive or unwarranted. The objectionable message can be in many forms like text, image, audio, video or any other electronic record which is capable of being transmitted.
- Section 67–
Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form. Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 is a replica of Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code. This section relates to publishing obscene material in “electronic form”. Thus, this section covers online stalking. If the stalker tries to publish any obscene material about the victim on social media i.e., in electronic form so as to bully the victim, he shall be guilty of an offence under Section 67 of the IT Act. Section 67 prohibits and punishes with imprisonment extending up to three years and fine for the first conviction and to five years and fine upon a second conviction
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In 2015, in a landmark judgment upholding the right to free speech in recent times, the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal and Ors. v. Union of India struck down Section 66A of the Information & Technology Act, 2000.
The government has given notice to WhatsApp to take immediate steps to contain fake news and misuse of its platform. People don’t have absolute freedom to share and express whatever they want even on the online platform. There have been many instances where the admin of the groups have been arrested by the police for forwarding fake and objectionable messages and posts.
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Today it’s an era of development that has to lead to the emergence of the cyber world and there is a massive expansion in the growth of technology. As Information Technology evolved it gave birth to the cyberspace where the internet provides unrestricted access and opportunities to many people to have access to any information, data storage at any time with the help of high technology. With the development of technology it has led to the inevitable misuse of technology in the cyber world and as a result, giving rise to various “cyber crimes” at the domestic as well as at the international level. As each coin has two sides alongside the development it is also causing serious legal issues across the world. As popularly known as “social networking” is the new fad in India and very few people could escape from its clutch. Consequently, this has also given rise to many legal issues as well. Most of these legal issues pertain to online acts or omissions that are resulting in giving rise to civil and criminal liabilities.
For case specific advice, please contact Punjab Haryana High Court Best/Expert Lawyers Advocates for Cyber Crime/Cyber Frauds Cases in Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali.
This post is written Vishista Mishra
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