What does section 66A of IT Act 2000 actually mean?
It reads- the punishment for sending “offensive’ messages through computers or any other communication device such as a mobile phone or a tablet, and a conviction can fetch a maximum of three years in jail.
(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,
(c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.
Explanation: “Electronic mail” and “electronic mail message” means a message or information created or transmitted or received on a computer, computer system, computer resource or communication device including attachments in text, images, audio, video and any other electronic record, which may be transmitted with the message.
This Information Technology Act came in to force in 2000, but section 66A was added as an amendment in 2008 which was notified in February 2009
Supreme Court in its judgment by dismissing the Information Technology Act, section 66 A, is to safeguard the freedom of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution. SC meant that this section is laying a path to destroy the source roots of democracy i.e., freedom and independence. This section has transcended the rational limits on freedom of speech which are imposed by the Constitution so it has to be removed as soon as it is made clear. Due to the ambiguous words in this section there is a possibility to abuse the police. The arrests were happened throughout the country, based on the small reasons of this section. Several petitions were filed against the controversial law; the trial courts gave judgment by dismissing the section 66A.
Any opinion expressed by a computer or other communication device, desperate, criticize any information which is sent, politicians should not be afraid of that situation. Government is providing an opportunity to make arrests with this section 66 A of the IT Act. According to this section – three years in prison, a fine of 5 lakhs or both can charge. When Bal Thackeray died in Maharastra, Shiva Sena people in Mumbai has done strike against to that issue and one girl revealed her view on Facebook as it was a wrong practice, another girl clicked like on that share. The police arrested two persons. Sharing an objectionable comment in Facebook on one of the minister in UP, student studying in class XI had been arrested. A professor was arrested for posting a cartoon on Kolkata Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. One predator was arrested due to objectionable comments on Man Mohan Singh when he is Prime Minister and other two leaders. In the past The Supreme Court ordered that the cases could be placed unless you have the permission of a senior police officer. However, the extent of the pressure of the political leaders on the common people, even though abuse cases on common people does freely. Such arrests are violating the freedom of expression on the Internet. Hence, with the threat of jail, the Supreme Court said not to be afraid of expressing emotional expressions. A section 66 made it clear that it’s not only for freedom to express but also disrupting the right to know.
Ensuring to the freedom
The central government defended statements about Section 66 A are contrary to the spirit of the democratic views. Central court argued it before because of the widespread impact of the internet, compared to the magazines, TV channels; social media has to have more restrictions. Like Magazines, TV channels the Internet is not in the form of institutional so there should be a control policy. During independence period to meet the needs press has evolved and stood peoples fortnight. At the time democrats denied the restrictions upon the press. As long as it unfolds the situation changed. Major magazines are operating in accordance with the interests of the firms. We need not to discuss about the TV channels. In such situations, the government had to feel rejoice that people got an internet platform to express their views freely. But, they are not running in the way as like magazines, television sets in as the organizational form for that reason controlling is against the idea of freedom. Expression is like oxygen of democracy. The current laws are sufficient to stop acts committed as a provocation to the religious tensions. There is a difference between discussion claims and to provoke. Even though discussion claims may cause some resentment to some people the Court has made it clear that they have to permit. Wrath of the reluctance of others is also wrong to cause the interruption of expressiveness. If the government wanted to go expressions, discussions in patterns of their choice, then how it will be a democratic system of ours! The abolition of 66A section of the IT Act is not enough. There are still some objectionable terms in the Act. Similar provisions which are contrary to the democratic rule of law, no matter in any form it has to be cancelled.
“E -Freedom ?” Section 66A of IT Act Supreme Court’s Verdict