Section 66A of IT Act- SC Directs HC’s to Provide Copies of Shreya Singhal case to District Courts

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February 18, 2019

In this recent direction issued by the Two-Judge Bench of Supreme Court, the Court has directed that the copies of Supreme Court judgment in the case of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India[1] be made available by every High Court in this country to all the District Courts.

Case name: Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India

The Supreme Court’s aforesaid direction was issue pursuant to Attorney General’s suggestion.

Here it would be relevant to throw some light on Apex Court’s verdict in Shreya Singhal’s case. In this landmark judgment of 2015, the Supreme Court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act and held it ultra vires of the Constitution of India.

The statutory provision under Section 66A of IT Act enumerates punishment for sending “offensive” messages through a computer or any other communication device and conviction under the said provision could land a person in jail for three or more years alongwith fine.

The Supreme Court has additionally directed the Union Government to make available copies of this judgment to the Chief Secretaries of all the State Governments and the Union Territories within a period of 8 weeks.

Though Section 66A of IT Act was struck down in 2015, several reports claimed that the provision was still being used to restrict freedom of speech under Article 19 of the Constitution.

The Court’s direction can be accessed here.

Supreme Court’s verdict in Shreya Singhal case can be accessed here.

 

 

 

[1] [(2015) 5 SCC 1]