SC issues notice to all states, UTs on repeated use of scrapped IT Act

Will pass a comprehensive order so that the matter is settled for once and for all, says SC

Supreme Court
SC had struck down Section 66(A) of the IT Act in the Shreya Singhal v Union of India case on March 24, 2015

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to states, Union Territories and Registrar General of all High Courts in connection to a plea that people are still being booked under Section 66(A) of the Information Technology Act, which was scrapped by an SC verdict in 2015.

A bench of Justices R.F. Nariman and B.R. Gavai said in response to the plea by NGO People Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) that they will “pass a comprehensive order so that the matter is settled for once and for all.” The Bench also said that since police is a state subject, it would be better that all the state governments and Union Territories are made party in the case.

Also read: Booking people under scrapped Section 66A is shocking, terrible: SC

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Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for PUCL, said that there are two aspects in this matter, one is police and the other is the judiciary, where such cases are still being tried.

The Bench said that as far as the judiciary is concerned, it can take care of that and will issue notice to all the High Courts.

The top court listed the matter for further hearing after four weeks.

Also read: Sedition law colonial, when will you repeal it? SC asks Centre

On July 5, the top court had said it is ‘amazing’ and ‘shocking’ that people are still being booked under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act that was scrapped by an apex court verdict in 2015.

Under the scrapped Section, a person posting offensive content online could be imprisoned for up to three years and also fined. On March 24, 2015, SC had struck down Section 66A for “being violative of Article 19(1)(a) and not saved under Article 19(2),” in its ruling in the Shreya Singhal v. Union of India case.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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