Numerous cases of harassment and arrests because of messages posted on social media
GN Bureau | March 24, 2015
Supreme Court has struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act and termed it as unconstitutional as it is violative of Article 19(1)(a). A bench of justices J Chelameswar and R F Nariman, which had on February 26 reserved the judgement, said it encroaches upon "the public's right to know." The law under Section 66A imposes punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, which seems retrograde in the digital age. Maximum jail term under the law is three years.
What is Section 66A of IT act
The Information Technology Act 2000 was amended in the year 2008. This amended act contains the much debated 66A section. It imposes punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service.
Read More: Social media harassment and Indian cyber law
Glad to know that I live in a free country. No #Sec66A as SC strikes it down. Super happy. Go on, troll away.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) March 24, 2015
#Sec66A Most politicians: Suggested 66A. Approved of 66A. Defended 66A. Fought for 66A. Now celebrating that it has been struck down. Dei.— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) March 24, 2015
It applies to cases wherein: a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or (b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device, (c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages.
Read from our archives: Bad in law
Genesis of the case
The apex court had on May 16, 2013, come out with an advisory that a person, accused of posting objectionable comments on social networking sites, cannot be arrested without police getting permission from senior officers.
The direction was issued in the wake of numerous complaints of harassment and arrests, sparking public outrage. It had, however, refused to pass an interim order for a blanket ban on the arrest of such persons across the country.
The court asked centre in December last year to clarify stand on the provisions that ensues arrest or be ready for such laws to be stayed.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had said that the Government did not want to curtail the freedom of speech and expression at all which is enshrined in the Constitution, but the vast cyber world could not be allowed to remain unregulated.
However, the court had said that terms like 'illegal', 'grossly offensive' and 'menacing character' were vague expressions and these words were likely to be misunderstood and abused.
Here is the full text of the judgement: Click Here
In many ways the story of Gross National Happiness in a country is the story of Bhutan and its modern history. There are two major transition points in Bhutan’s recent history, the beginning of the monarchy in 1907, and the transition to a Constitutional monarchy in 2008, and the pursuit of happine
Do you agree with the ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter through animal markets?
Prime minister Narendra Modi celebrated three-year of his government on May 26 by inaugurating Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Tinsukia district. It is the longest bridge in India, which runs 9.15 km from end to end and connects Assam with Arunachal Pradesh.
IndianOil posted a net profit of Rs 19,106 crore for 2016-17 fiscal as compared to a profit of Rs 11,242 crore in the last fiscal. The income from operations for the financial year 2016-17 was Rs 4,45,373 crore as compared to Rs 4,06,828 crore in the previous fiscal. IndianOil`s income from
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) carried out first flight of light utility helicopter (LUH)-PT-2 on May 22 at its Bengaluru-based facility. The flight duration was about 22 minutes and pilots reported nil snag, HAL said. “These maiden flights of indig
Narendra Modi is like Greek mythology’s King Midas: whatever he touches turns into gold. Most people in this country are left dazzled by his ability to make dramatic announcements with a statuesque flourish. The past three years of the Modi government have left the