The Supreme Court on Monday took strong exception to the alleged prosecutions under the scrapped Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act and said that the officials who violate the law will be sent to jail. In 2015, the Supreme Court had junked the Section 66A of the Information Technology Act that sought three-year jail for posting offensive or false content online, saying the provision was in violation of the freedom of speech.
However, a plea filed before the top court claimed that people were still being prosecuted under the junked law. The plea filed by People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) said that more than 22 people were prosecuted after the top court scrapped Section 66 A of IT Act.
Hearing the petition, Supreme Court judge Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said that it was “shocking if true” that people were still being arrested even after the law was held unconstitutional.
“If what they (petitioners) allege is correct, then you people will face severe strictures. We will send everyone to jail who ordered the arrests. We are going to take very strict action,” Justice Nariman said.
The court came down heavily on the Centre for not taking appropriate measures to ensure there was no violation of the court’s order and prevent the arrests under the scrapped law. The court has sought Centre’s response on the PUCL plea. The government will have to submit its reply in four weeks.