Section 66A of the IT Act should be dumped says govt
December 07, 2012
Source: MM Network
Section 66A of the Information and Technology Act 2000 should be "dumped"said the government as it is known to "violate" Article 19(1A) of the Constitution of India which grants freedom of speech and expression.
The outrage on the arrest of two girls by the Maharashtra police over a Facebook post under this section has forced the government to come with this response. Certain new guidelines have also been issued which definitely brings relief to the users in restoring their freedom of speech and expression online.
As per the guideline,complaints under the controversial Section 66A of the IT Act will now have to be approved from an officer of DCP (Deputy Commissioner of Police) level at rural areas and IG (Inspector General) level in metros before being registered by the police.
Furthermore, section 66A was deliberately made a bailable offense and will continue to be so. The Ministry of communications and IT will also sensitise Law Enforcing Agencies to use this section carefully when registering cases, so that the same judgment is applied to the IT Act as is with other related laws in the offline world.
However experts feel that Section 66A has a very broad scope and hence totally unconstitutional and stands against the rights of citizens.
Further on the context of the same Act Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir has issued notice to Maharashtra, West Bengal, Puducherry and Delhi after Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati told the court that Section 66A has been grossly abused and welcomed the court's intervention.