January 07, 2019:
On Monday, the Supreme Court criticized the Govt. for not preventing arrests under a scrapped section of a law that deals with cyber crime and e-commerce.
The court warned that those who ordered the arrests would be jailed.
In 2015, the Supreme Court had scrapped Section 66(A) of the Information Technology Act that prescribed a three-year jail term for online content that could be construed to be offensive or false, holding that this provision violates the constitutional freedom of speech and expression.
In its judgment, the court had observed that the section “arbitrarily, excessively and disproportionately invades the right of free speech”.
Despite that, over 22 people have been prosecuted under Section 66(A), non-profit group People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) said in a petition.
The Supreme Court said, “We are going to take strict action.”
Top Court said it is “shocking if true” that people were arrested under Section 66(A) that was declared “unconstitutional”.
The bench, led by Justice RF Nariman, has given the Centre four weeks to file a response.