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Now write freely online, SC repeals Section 66 A of IT Act

3/24/2015 2:14:12 PM

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India today repealed the Section 66 A of IT Act that allowed arrests for objectionable online content.

The apex court, while passing its ruling, observed that the Section 66A of the IT Act was 'too vague and violative of 19(1)A of the Constitution of india'.

The SC while maintaining that Section 66A “affects freedom of expression and speech”, said, “what may be offensive to a person may not be offensive to others".

Section 66A of IT Act clearly affects Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression enshrined under Constitution, the apex court ruled. “Public's right to know is directly affected by Section 66A of Information Technology Act,” the SC further said.

The apex court passed its order while responding to a batch of petitions challenging constitutional validity of certain sections of the cyber law, including a provision under which a person can be arrested for allegedly posting "offensive" contents on websites.

The first PIL on the issue was filed in 2012 by a law student Shreya Singhal, who sought amendment in Section 66A of the Act, after two girls -- Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Shrinivasan -- were arrested in Palghar in Thane district as one of them posted a comment against the shutdown in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray's death and the other 'liked' it.

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