SC SLAMS USE OF QUASHED IT LAW
The Supreme Court pointed out that it was “shocking” and “distressing” that there was five-fold increase in the registration of cases under section 66A of Information Technology Act though the provision was quashed by the top court in July 2015.
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) took a plea to the apex court to issue suitable directives to the union government and the subordinate courts in the country to make sure that cases are not registered under section 66A and nobody is arrested or prosecuted under the quashed law. Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh appearing for the NGO cited a study conducted by Internet Freedom Foundation and Civic Data Labs which showed that while 229 cases were pending as on April 24, 2015 when the apex court declared the section 66A “unconstitutional and void”, 1307 new cases were registered under the law already struck down.
Section 66A of the Information Technology Act which authorised police to arrest people for social media posts construed as “offensive” and “menacing”. However in April 2015 the Supreme Court quashed the much-abused law.
Attorney General KK Venugopal appearing on behalf of the centre pointed out the fact that section 66A was still there in the IT Act and the bare acts contained this provision even after the judgement of the court in 2015. At this he suggested that the section must be identified as “struck down” right next to where it is mentioned in the bare act and the footnote should also clearly say that the provision does not exist anymore for the purpose of the registration of cases.
Also read- Ghost of Section 66A – The Indian Express
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