New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed shock at the cops still being registering cases under Section 66A of Information Technology Act, which the apex court had struck down in March 2015.
“It is shocking, distressing and amazing that police across the country are still registering cases under Section 66A of Information Technology Act”, a bench of Justices R F Nariman, K M Joseph and B R Gavai said.
Appearing for petitioner NGO People’s Union for Civil Liberties, senior advocate Sanjay Parikh said that before Sec 66A was struck down, there were 687 cases filed under it.
However, after the section was struck down, there are as many as 1307 cases, said Parikh.
AG K K Venugopal said the Acts published after striking down of Sec 66A still contained the provision with a small footnote that says the SC has struck down the Section.
“No policeman actually looks at footnote,” Venugopal said.
The SC meanwhile issued a notice to the Centre in the matter and said, “we will do something”.
The Section 66A of the IT Act allowed arrests for posting offensive content on social media sites. The controversial provision made posting offensive material on social networking sites an offence punishable by up to three years in jail.
The section had been widely misused by police in various states to arrest persons for posting critical comments about social and political issues and political leaders on social networking sites.
The court had said such a law hits at the root of liberty and freedom of expression, two cardinal pillars of democracy.