Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/shocking-sc-issues-notice-to-centre-on-cases-filed-under-scrapped-law/articleshow/84135951.cms?utm_source=ETTopNews&utm_medium=HPTN&utm_campaign=AL1&utm_content=23Synopsis
Appearing for petitioner NGO People’s Union for Civil Liberties, senior advocate Sanjay Parikh said that before Sec 66A was struck down, there were 687 cases filed under it.
The Section 66A of Information Technology Act was scrapped by the top court in March 2015.
“It is shocking, distressing and amazing that police across the country are still registering cases under Section 66A of Information Technology Act”, a bench of Justices R F Nariman, K M Joseph and B R Gavai said.
However, after the section was struck down, there are as many as 1307 cases, said Parikh.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said that on perusal of IT Act it can be seen that section 66A features in it and in the footnote one can see it written that the provision has been scrapped.
“Now when a police officer has to register a case, he sees the section and registers the case without going through the footnote. Instead what can be done is that we can put a bracket just after section 66A and mention that it has been scrapped. We can in the footnote put the entire extract of the verdict,” Venugopal said.
Justice Nariman said, “You please file counter in two weeks. We have issued a notice. List the matter after two weeks”.
The top court was hearing a fresh application of PUCL saying, “That, shockingly, despite the order dated February 15, 2019 and steps taken towards compliance thereof, the Applicant discovered that Section 66A of the IT Act has continued to be in use not only within police stations but also in cases before trial courts across India”.
The NGO 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”.
(With inputs from Agencies)