Notices to state, central govt on PIL on IT Act

Petitioners are also seeking for constituting a special committee to hold hearings on similar complaints

PTI | January 31, 2013



Karnataka High Court has ordered issue of notices to state and Central governments on PIL relating to section 66 A of the Information Technology Act.

A division bench headed by acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao also ordered issue of notices to social networking sites Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter in response to the petition filed by Rohan Bhammar and Varun Nair, two law graduates.

The petitioners claimed that offence under section 66A of Information Techology Act, 2000 is a non-cognisable offence and that a designated police officer cannot arrest an accused upon receipt of a complaint.

The petitioners sought for a direction for framing of necessary rules under IT Act laying down guidelines/procedures in terms of section 200 of Criminal Procedure Code (taking the complaint by way of a sworn statement of the complainant) after getting feed back from general public to deal with complaints of defamation or criminal intimidation via social networking sites or email.

The petitioners claim that 121,000,0000 persons use these social networking sites with majority of them being young people, who could be subjected to criminal trial for harmless private communication, affecting their right to freedom of speech and right to privacy.

The petitioners are also seeking for constituting a special committee to hold hearings on these type complaints adding that police also need a comprehensive training to deal with such cases.

The petitioners have cited several recent incidents including the police arresting a person for commenting against the son of a Union Minister.

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