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Thursday, November 29, 2012

COURT TAKES NOTE OF OUTRAGE OVER PALGHAR ARRESTS




It will examine constitutional validity of Section 66A of IT Act

The Supreme Court said on Thursday that the country was outraged when two young women were arrested in Mumbai recently for posting comments on social networking websites, and decided to examine the constitutional validity of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act.

A Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice J. Chelameswar, entertaining a writ petition that challenged the vires of the provision, asked the Attorney-General to be present in the court on Friday when the matter would be taken up for further hearing. Earlier, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi pointed to the arrest of the two women and explained how the law was being misused for sharing messages on websites.

In her petition, Shreya Singhal, an aspiring law student, highlighted the incident: Shaheen Dhada, 21, was arrested for questioning the shutdown in the city after the death of a political leader (Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray) on Facebook, which was ‘liked’ and shared by her friend Renu Srinivasan, who was also held. When Mr. Rohatgi narrated the incident, the Chief Justice said: “The way the two little girls were arrested, it outraged the people of the country. It needs consideration the way things had taken place so that in future it does not take place.” He also wondered why the girls were taken into custody after sunset for a bailable offence.



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