Apropos to Section 66A: What Parliament Should Consider As The Need of Hour

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 30 March 2015, 12:52 Hrs
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BANGALORE: The Supreme Court has nullified the Information Technology Act's contentious Section 66A, holding that it was volatile of the Constitution's Article 19(1) (a) guaranteeing freedom of speech and expression.

The country lauds the boldest decision taken by the Supreme Court of India to scrap Section 66A under the Information and Technology Act. Indian Judiciary has had a long standing past with this controversial act that involves several crucial petitioners who have fought for the cause over the years.

The court still has instilled the government to block websites if the specific site contains any matter that may prove to create communal disturbance, social imbalance or India’s tie with other countries.

Section 66A contained legal remedies against cyber crimes like stalking, harassment, intimidating via Email and SMS, phishing and spamming. Who would the citizens now look up to, if any such situation arises? It is those high-profile arrests in the past that showcased the ugly side of the ‘draconian’ act, but one cannot deny the fact that the act was necessary to save the victims of cyber crimes. Cyber crime is a new form of menace in the new age and now there arises a need for another set of laws to regulate them.

The Supreme Court and the people who are celebrating the cause might have to reconsider how to deal with cyber crimes without sidelining the issue all together. Section 66A, prior to its scrap defined that those who are found sending ‘offensive and objectionable’ messages or mails through any electronic device can be sentenced for three years in jail. In order to save such victims the Supreme Court must segregate the ‘objectionable’ matters.

There is a provision under the Indian Penal Code’s Section 499 and 500 which take care of it in the physical world. Since Section 4 of the IT Act brings electronic information at par with physical documents, the same provision can be applied to save the genius cases of defamation at least. There are other provisions to cover extortion and threat, but they may or may not suffice to deal with issues considering the internet world.

Read More: 10 Countries With Superfast Internet, India Not in List and 5 Reasons To Feel Proud of Team India Despite Defeat

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