Millennium Post

Supreme Court to take stock of provisions governing cyber law

“We have to judge the statute as it stands on Tuesday. We are not concerned with your (government’s) stand,” a bench of justices J Chelameswar and Rohinton F Nariman said.

The court’s remarks came when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the government does not want to save “anyhow”, section 66A of the Information Technology Act and is open to suggestions to “amend/change” the law in question.

“We are not in an adversarial litigation. The court can record my statement that the penal consequences, as provided in section 66A, will not be made applicable in cases relating to freedom of speech and expression of citizens,” he said, adding that the court may consider making the offence under the provision as “non-cognizable”.

This will create a situation where the criminal law will be set in motion after judicial scrutiny and police will not be able to act on its own, he said.

“How long will a gentleman remain in jail? He may remain in jail till a judge of the Supreme Court or any other court will apply the judicial mind,” the bench said. Dealing with the word “grossly offensive”, the bench referred to the judgement cited by the ASG and said, “what is grossly offensive to you, may not be grossly offensive to me and it is a vague term.”

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