The Supreme Court of India gives online freedom of speech a chance.
Indian Supreme Court decides to do away with the Section 66A of the IT Act, a law which allowed arrest of a person for posting offensive content.
The law was in the way between the right to online freedom of speech. Section 66A of the Information Technology Act was considered “vague in its entirety” by the Supreme Court judge as “what may be offensive to a person, may not be offensive to others”.
The ones who criticized the law informed that police and political parties had been using the law for their advantage by putting in bars anyone who wrote against them or their ideas.
“Section 66A of IT Act clearly affects Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression enshrined under Constitution,” the Supreme Court said.
“Governments may come and go but section 66A will remain forever,” the Supreme Court added.
The law was first challenged by law student, Shreya Singhal who filed a PIL after two young women, Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Shrinivasa were arrested in 2012 for posting comments and “liking” a post against the shutdown in Mumbai post the death of Bal Thackeray, the Shiv Sena chief.
“Nobody should have fear of putting up something because of the fear of going to prison,” Singhal said.
Section 66A reads: “Any person who sends by any means of a computer resource any information that is grossly offensive or has a menacing character; or any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.”
The removal of the law will empower many rational citizens to write and post about the current important matters without the fear be being sent to jail. Freedom to speech will prevail.