Lawstreet Journal

Drop Cases Filed Under Repealed Section 66A of IT Act: MHA to States & Uts [READ NOTIFICATION]

Lawstreet Journal 16 Jul 2021 9:39pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Executive Drop Cases Filed Under Repealed Section 66A of IT Act: MHA to States & Uts [READ NOTIFICATION]

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday (July 14, 2021) asked the States and the Union Territories to withdraw immediately the cases registered under the repealed Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, days after the Supreme Court expressed shock that it was being invoked even six years after it struck down the legislation. 

Section 66A criminalized “grossly offensive” or “menacing character” messages sent in the form of text, audio, video, images, or any other electronic record. It provided for the punishment of up to three years in prison and read as thus “Any person who sends by means of a computer resource any information that is grossly offensive or has a menacing character, or any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.”

In 2015, the Supreme Court quashed this provision pursuant to its judgment in the matter of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India. The Apex Court, stressing on the right to freedom of speech and expression of Indian citizens, struck down Section 66A. The law was wielded in several instances to arrest people for posts on social media solely at the discretion of the police. 

The NGO People’s Union for Civil Liberties filed a petition informing the court that 1,307 new cases were registered under the Act in the six years since the Shreya Singhal judgment… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Ministry of Home Affairs  
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