25th Mar 2015
So Sec 66A gets thrown out of the window by the Supreme Court. No surprises there. Any reasonable thinking human being would have been appalled by the sheer brazenness of the section. Obviously, it does not include our lawmakers – who are neither reasonable nor can think like human beings.
For those not in the know, Sec 66A of IT Act had provision for authorities to arrest any person for sending offensive messages through a communication service.
This applies to: "(a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or (b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device."
The bigger question that is not answered here is - what gives our lawmakers the right to craft such pieces of legislation, which go fundamentally, against democratic tenets? Aren’t they answerable to anybody, at all? Thirdly, can those people whose lives were made miserable by the police u/s 66A, now claim compensation against the state for, willfully crafting a piece of legislation, which was prima facie against humanity.
Look at the shamelessness of these ministers and ex-ministers. The very same people who hailed it are now saying that the SC judgement is ‘welcome’. Messrs Sibal, Chidambaram, Ravi Shankar Prasad, lawyers all, who had a major role to play in drafting the legislation, defending it in public, are now hailing its demise. Can the Supreme court try them under any law? Is a forked tongue allowed by law for a minister and elected representative in a democracy?
Now that they don't have the legal protection of law, the elected reps will start unleashing their goons on FB posts and tweets that they don't like. They will start beating people up, burning buses, create a public disorder to protest. Since the so called ‘perpetrators’ are any way defenceless against hooliganism by political cadres, free speech will again become a casualty.
Maybe it is time for our Hon Supreme Court to start examining the role of politicians when they start muzzling voices of dissent using muscle.
Sec 66A Law Is Gone, Now The Lawlessness Will Begin
Free speech will continue to suffer.
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