MHA asks states to order police not to register cases under scrapped section of IT Act

·2-min read

New Delhi, Jul 14 (PTI) The Centre on Wednesday asked the states to direct their police not to register cases under the repealed Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 related to posting online comments.

The Supreme Court in 2015 had struck down the controversial Section 66A of the IT Act that made posting 'offensive' comments online a crime punishable by jail, after a long campaign by defenders of free speech.

However, recently, the apex court had said that it was shocking that the judgment striking down the law has not been implemented even now.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has requested states and Union Territories (UTs) to direct all police stations under their jurisdiction not to register cases under the repealed Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, a home ministry statement said.

The ministry said it has also asked the states and UTs to sensitise law enforcement agencies for the compliance of the order issued by the Supreme Court on March 24, 2015.

The MHA has also requested that if any case has been booked in states and UTs under section 66A of the IT Act, 2000, such cases should be immediately withdrawn.

The Supreme Court in its judgment on March 24, 2015 in the matter of Shreya Singhal Vs. Union of India had struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. This made Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 null and void with effect from the date of the order and hence no action could be taken under this section.

The section of the law provides police power to arrest a person for posting 'offensive' content online and provides for a three-year jail term.

The Supreme Court early this month issued a notice to the Centre on the use of Section 66A of the IT Act and said that it was shocking that the judgment striking down the law has not been implemented even now. PTI ACB RT RT

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