You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Govt working on restoring 66A of IT Act with changes

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Government is working on restoring with "suitable modifications" the controversial section 66A of IT Act which provided for arrest of people for posting offensive content online and was struck down by the Supreme Court in March.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted a committee to examine the implications of the apex court judgement and "suggest restoring of 66A of Information Technology Act 2000 with suitable modifications and safeguards to make it fully compatible with constitutional provisions", Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed Parliament today.

The committee has been mandated by MHA to suggest alternate legal measures so as to avoid the possible misuse of social media in the interest of National Security and maintenance of public order.

"Also, an Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of TK Vishwanathan, former Secretary, Law Commission and Secretary General Lok Sabha has been set up by MHA to study the Supreme Court judgement on section 66A of IT Act and recommend a road map with measures and amendments to the present laws for consideration of the Government," Prasad said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

The apex court had called section 66A of the IT Act "unconstitutional", saying it has a "chilling effect" on freedom of speech and expression.

Many people have been arrested for posting cartoons of politicians or criticising them when the act was in force.

The apex court held that the expressions used in section 66A of the Information and Technology Act, which had been used by various administrations against inconvenient posts in the cyber space, are "completely open-ended and undefined".

The apex court had rejected appeal to strike down section 69A of IT Act that gives the government power to block websites or any information that can be accessed through any computer in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of nation and so on.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, July 31 2015. 17:32 IST