Wednesday, September 27, 2023

'We're Showing How Youngsters Speak', Says Maker Of 'College Romance'; Supreme Court To Examine If Profane Language Falls Under Sec 67A IT Act

The Supreme Court on 26.09.2023, while considering an appeal by the makers of the TVF web series ‘College Romance’, said that it will look into whether Section 67A of the Information Technology Act,2000 would apply to profane language.

The makers of the web series had approached the Supreme Court against the order of the Delhi High Court that had upheld the registration of FIR against them under Sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act,2000.

Section 67A of the IT Act prescribes punishment for a person who publishes or transmits in electronic form material containing a ‘sexually explicit act or conduct’.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the makers argued that no offence is made out under Section 67A of the IT Act. He argued that 67A would not apply to profane language. “It is a matter of vulgar language, it is not a matter of an obscene act or a vulgar act on the screen. We were portraying how youngsters speak in college through slang, it is a part of life,” he stated.

The bench of Justice AS Bopanna and Justice MM Sundresh hearing the matter, expressed their reservations about the same.

“We have no difficulty in giving our views on this, but it might go against you. Any other protection we can consider. On application of 67, we will consider it subject to a hearing. On 67A, we have our reservation.” Justice Sundresh remarked.

Referring to the applicability of Section 67A to explicit language, Justice Sundresh said, ‘Because in act and conduct….act has a broader sense. You cannot give a technical interpretation that an act means only a physical act. ‘

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