LOK SABHA ELECTIONS 2019: INDIA DECIDES

Facebook comments OK, Centre informs Supreme Court

DC | J. VENKATESAN
Published Feb 4, 2015, 1:11 pm IST
Updated Jan 10, 2016, 8:38 am IST
FB and other social media coments related to freedom of speech and expression
Posting comments on Facebook and other social media would not be an offence under Section 66A of the IT Act if such comments related to freedom of speech and expression.  (Photo: PTI/File)
 Posting comments on Facebook and other social media would not be an offence under Section 66A of the IT Act if such comments related to freedom of speech and expression. (Photo: PTI/File)
New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that posting comments on Facebook and other social media would not be an offence under Section 66A of the IT Act if such comments related to freedom of speech and expression.
 
Additional solicitor-general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, made this submission before a bench of Justices J. Chelameswar and Rohinton Nariman, examining the constitutional validity of Section 66A, relating to objectionable comments in the social media. This provision empowers the police to arrest the person concerned for posting annoying comments.
 
Defending the provision, the ASG said offences under Section 66A would be attracted only for cyber crimes and not to offences which had no relation to citizens’ freedom of speech and expression. 
 
The ASG said, “Section 66A, which uses expressions like causing annoyance, inconvenience etc, essentially and intends to deal with such cyber crimes and has no relation with freedom of speech and expression.”
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