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Cover Story TASTE OF FREEDOM
66A DEAD. LONG LIVE 66A!
By Soni Mishra
Scrapping of section 66A has been hailed by the Twitterati. Those who were at the receiving end are relieved. But, many say there is a need for a similar law
For freedom: Law student Shreya Singhal was the first person to move court against section 66A. Photo by Sanjay Ahlawat
India needs a new section in place of 66A
Section 66A was not drafted with the wrong intent, to curb the growth of internet or to instil fear in the minds of its users. In fact, the government was working overtime to aid proliferation of the internet and encourage more and more people to get online, especially in rural areas. The idea and the process through which the amendment was brought in were in accordance with the best practices in...
Prudent decision
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court struck down section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, declaring it violative of Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution. It must be remembered that the ‘section’ was rushed through and never debated as Parliament enacted the amendments to the act, in the shadow of the 26/11 attack. The decision was momentous in the light of recent...
End of an ordeal
On November 18, 2012, all hell broke loose for Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan of Palghar in Maharashtra. Shaheen wrote a Facebook post criticising the shutdown of Mumbai after the death of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, and Rinu liked it. They were detained by the police, Shaheen's uncle's clinic was vandalised and India realised, again, the perils of free expression. “I had...
Righting the rule
The path to justice is familiar to Shreya Singhal, the 24-year-old law student at Delhi University who won Indians the right to free speech online. One of the roads to the Delhi High Court is named after her late grandmother, Sunanda Bhandare, a fourth-generation judge who did pioneering work to make the courts sensitive to gender issues. The foundation named after Bhandare continues to influence...
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