New Delhi, Sep 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed concern that Section 66A of the Information Technology Act was still being used, though it was declared unconstitutional in 2015.
Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, representing the petitioner NGO People Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), submitted that there was a judgment given in Shreya Singhal matter in 2015, still there are many public prosecutors and police officers charging people under Section 66A and that is why this application was filed.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and comprising Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, asked counsel, representing the Centre, to impress upon the state governments against use of the provision.
Parikh said Attorney General K.K. Venugopal had appeared last time and a notice was issued to states and the Central government. "The results were shocking...We have prepared a chart," said Parikh, submitting details of the cases lodged under Section 66A of the IT Act after the judgment in Shreya Singhal case.
The Chief Justice said that there has to be a mechanism to look into this issue and asked Parikh what does he recommend.
The bench further queried Parikh if is there any conviction? "Is it solely 66A or other provisions?"
Parikh replied that when the FIR is lodged, Section 66A is alleged.
The top court was informed by a counsel that the instructions have been given to police stations that any case under Section 66A should be dropped. The Centre's counsel submitted: "We have been telling all states about the Shreya Singhal judgmenta.."
Section 66A made sending of offensive messages through a computer device for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will etc as punishable offence up to three years of jail and with fine.
The top court said it is a matter of serious concern that despite authoritative pronouncement, the offences are still being registered.
It issued notice to all state governments and the high courts, and asked the Central government to ask Chief Secretaries to take remedial measures as soon as possible. The top court has scheduled the matter for further consideration after three weeks.
The NGO had moved the top court seeking direction to Centre to advise all police stations against registering FIRs under Section 66A.