A Retrospective Analysis of Section 66A: Could Section 66A of the Information Technology Act be Reconsidered for Regulating 'Bad Talk' in the Internet?
Halder Debarati (2015) A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS OF SECTION 66 A: COULD SECTION 66 A OF THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT BE RECONSIDERED FOR REGULATING “BAD TALK” IN THE INTERNET? Published in Indian Student Law Review (ISLR) 2015 (1) PP 99-128 ISSN 2249-4391
31 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2019
Date Written: August 24, 2015
Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act 2000 (inserted vide amendment in 2008) was struck down by the Supreme Court in the recent case of Shreya Singhal Vs. Union of India, criminal) no.167 of 2012 as ‘unconstitutional’. The court took this historic decision after the petition alleged that the said provision is extremely vague and it is being misused grossly for curtailing freedom of speech in the cyber space in India. While it is accepted that the provision may be a draconian law, should the Supreme court have used this opportunity to re-frame and reproduce the provision for regulating certain types of speech which may be termed as ‘bad talk’ in the internet? It may be noted that in India; cyber bullying and trolling, online gender harassment, smishing and vishing are becoming increasingly rampant. This article argues that the court could have considered the Therapeutic Jurisprudential value of Section 66 A to recreate a better law. This article also argues that misuse of Section 66 A was the consequence of poor framing of the other provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000 (amended in 2008) as well.
Keywords: Section 66 A of the I.T. Act, 2000 (amended in 2008), Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Cyber bullying, Online Trolling, Online Gender Harassment
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