'Amazing, terrible': SC issues notice to Centre, states over continued use of Section 66A of IT Act
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre and all state and union territory (UT) governments over the continued use of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act that was scrapped by it in 2015. A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court that included Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and BR Gavai also issued a notice to all High Courts over the issue.
The apex court said that all states and UTs should be made party in the hearing so that a comprehensive order can be passed and "the matter is settled for once and for all". "Amazing. What is going on is terrible," the top court remarked while listing the matter for further hearing after four weeks.
Meanwhile, the Centre in its affidavit said that 21 states and UTs have reported compliance with the 2015 judgment in their letters to the ministry of information and technology. "It is submitted that ‘police’ and ‘public order’ are state subjects as per the Constitution and prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes and capacity building of police personnel as primary responsibility of states," it said.
The Supreme Court was hearing a plea by NGO People Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) over the continued use of Section 66A of IT Act. Earlier on July 5, the court had termed the use of Section 66A of IT Act "amazing and shocking".
Meanwhile, the NGO in its plea said, "that in spite of the order passed by this Court on February 15, 2019, directing that copies of the judgment of this Court in Shreya Singhal should remain available with every High Court as well as all the District Courts and that the police departments in the entire country i.e. all States and UTs be sensitized about the said judgment, the facts mentioned above show that not only the investigations under Section 66A by the police are continuing but even in the trial courts".
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma