On Monday Supreme Court expressed shock over the practice of filing FIRs under Section 66A of the IT Act. This was struck down by a high court in a 2015 ruling in the Shreya Singhal case.
A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman was hearing an application made by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) seeking various directions and directions against fire under the provision of section 66A.
A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman was hearing an application made by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) seeking various directions and directions against FIR under the provision of section 66A.
Shreya Singhal say “Wonderful. That’s all I say. is a 2015 verdict. What’s going on is terrible”, observed Justice Nariman, as the petition was taken up.
Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that even after the provision, thousands of cases have been filed across the country.
Attorney General for India KK Venugopal said that if the provision has been struck down by the Bench, it is still in the bare act. Only in the footnote, it is mentioned that SC has struck.
“In any case, the police is not going to look at the footnote”, Justice Nariman said mildly. It suggested that in bare acts, next to the provision, it should be mentioned in brackets that the provision has been struck down.
It is clear that Section 66A arbitrarily, excessively, and inadequately attacks the right to free speech and undermines the balance between such a right and the reasonable restrictions imposed on such a right, ”Justice Nariman noted in the judgment.
This section is also unconstitutional in that it contains within its sweep protected speech and speech which is innocent and is useful in such a way as to be used in such a way as to have a pacifying effect on free speech and, therefore, must be killed based on overbread.