Civil Procedure Code (CPC)

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Factual Background

  • The PUCL had filed an application seeking direction and guidelines against the FIRs filed under Section 66A of the IT Act.
  • The NGO has requested directions to the Union through NCRB or any agency for data collection regarding the FIRs where Section 66A has been invoked.
  • They also sought direction from Magistrate Courts and District Courts to not take cognizance of an offense filed under Section 66A of the IT Act.
  • The Supreme Court had issued a notice when PUCL argued that cases are still being registered under Section 66A of the IT Act, which the Court struck down.

Counter Affidavit

  • The Ministry of Information and Technology and Ministry of Home Affairs have filed affidavits with details of their efforts to spread awareness about the judgment and the pending prosecutions under Section 66A.
  • The Centre has directed the Chief Secretaries and Administrators of all States for giving directions to the police stations to not register cases under Section 66A.
  • The Centre informed the Apex Court of having received letters from 21 States on implementing the judgment.
  • The primary responsibility for ensuring the implementation of Shreya Singhal Judgment stands with the State and the law enforcement agencies as police and public order are subjects under the State List.

Court Observation on Shreya Singhal v. Union of India

  • Shreya Singhal's judgment struck down Section 66A of the IT Act as it was violative of Articles 14 and 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution since it created an unreasonable restriction on free speech.
  • The judgment held the Section to be unconstitutional as it covered protected and innocent speech under the scope of the Section which would have a chilling effect on the fundamental right to freedom of speech and equality.

What is your opinion on the plea of the NGO to get directions against the invocation of a struck down provision of law? Tell us in the comments section below!

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