No Case to Be Filed Under Repealed Section 66A of IT Act: Govt

The states and UTs have also been asked to withdraw the cases registered so far under the repealed law.

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The Union government on Wednesday, 14 July, directed the states and Union Territories (UTs) to not register cases under the repealed Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, related to online content.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a notice directing the police stations of all states and UTs to withdraw the cases registered hitherto under the repealed provision.

The MHA order has also called for a sensitisation of all law enforcement agencies in order to ensure compliance with the Supreme Court's judgment.

The order comes days after the Supreme Court expressed shock over the repealed law being used to prosecute persons, six years after the court had ruled that it was unconstitutional.

"The Supreme Court in its judgment on 24.03.2015 in the matter of Shreya Singhal Vs Union of India, had struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. This made Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 null and void with effect from the date of the order, therefore 24.03.2015 and hence no action could be taken under this section."
MHA Notice

The apex court had revoked the controversial Section 66A of the IT Act (2000) in 2015. The law, which had made posting "offensive" comments online punishable by jail, had been struck down after several petitioners argued that it was a hindrance to free speech.

Remarking upon the continuing implementation of the repealed provision, the Supreme Court, on 5 July, had noted: "It is still going on, amazing... What is going on is terrible, distressing."

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