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No arrests for website comments without senior cops’ nod: SC

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 16, 2013
First Published: 11:34 IST(16/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:58 IST(17/5/2013)

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed all States to ensure compliance of Centre’s guidelines mandating prior permission of a senior cop before the arrest of a person who allegedly posts objectionable comments on the social networking sites.


A bench headed by justice BS Chauhan, however, refused to issue a blanket ban on such arrests. It said that the court cannot restrain state governments from making arrests as operation of section 66A (pertaining to objectionable comments) of the Information Technology Act has not been stayed by the apex court which is still examining its constitutional validity.

As per the Centre’s advisory, issued on January 9 following public outrage over the arrests of those posting comments on Facebook, no person can be arrested without the permission of Inspector General of Police or Deputy Commissioner or Superintendent of Police.

“We direct the state governments to ensure compliance with the guidelines (issued by Centre) before making any arrest,” the bench said.

The order came on a plea for a direction against any action for posting objectionable comments pending constitutional validity of Section 66A.

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