Monday, January 7, 2019

SC notice to govt on Sec 66A of IT Act being in use

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response to a plea alleging that despite the striking down of draconian Section 66A of the IT Act in 2015 by the apex court, police in various states were still invoking it in FIRs to clamp down on free speech on social media platforms.
A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran issued notice to the Union government on an application by NGO People’s Union for Civil Liberties,  alleged that the Centre had not taken enough steps to communicate the 2015 judgement of the SC in Shreya Singhal case to the state authorities to make them desist from invoking the quashed provision.
PUCL said that the SC judgement had rendered “all investigations, prosecutions and convictions based on Section 66A of IT Act illegal and it had forestalled use of Section 66A after the decision was pronounced.” Citing a recent working paper by a body engaged in the IT sector, the NGO said “the provision continues to be invoked by police across India in FIRs registered after the pronouncement of the judgement.”

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