The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday directed the States and Union Territories to immediately withdraw all pending cases and not register further cases under the repealed Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 related to posting online comments.
The directive has come after the Supreme Court expressed shock over its use even six years after the Supreme Court had stuck it down. The Supreme Court in 2015 had struck down the controversial Section 66A of the IT Act that made posting offensive comments online a crime punishable by jail, after a long campaign by defenders of free speech.
“It is therefore, requested to direct all the police stations not to register cases under the repealed Section 66A of the information Technology Act, 2000 and sensitise the law enforcement agencies for the compliance of the order issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 24.03.2015. If any case has been booked in your State under section 66A of the IT Act, 2000, it should immediately be withdrawn.” the official statement read.