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Victims of sec 66A call SC verdict 'victory for free speech'

india Updated: Mar 24, 2015 15:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
section 66A

Victims of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act,2000 have hailed the Supreme Court's verdict striking down the contentious section and termed it a victory for the common man's free speech.

Here is what they said:

Ambikesh Mahapatra, Jadavpur University professor, WEST BENGAL
ARRESTED FOR: Circulating emails mocking West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee

REACTION: This is a victory of the common man's freedom of speech. This verdict will surely remove the fear psychosis that has been developing among a large section of internet users that they may get arrested for even innocuous of acts… but I don't think, this will have any role in protecting freedom of speech in Bengal.

Aseem Trivedi, Cartoonist, MUMBAI
ARRESTED FOR: Allegedly poking fun at the Constitution and the national emblem by drawing cartoons which were circulated at Anna Hazare's anti-corruption rally in Mumbai in 2011.

This is a landmark judgment against a very evil law that has been widely misused by political parties and the administration to curb freedom of speech. Social networks are now an important part of the society and play a very vital role bringing forth the evils that besiege it. This judgment will ensure that social media continues to play an important role in shaping up the society.

Ravi Srinivasan, Businessman, PUDUCHERRY
ARRESTED FOR: Posting an ‘offensive’ message on twitter against Karti Chidambaram, son of then union finance minister P Chidambaram.

REACTION: I had done nothing wrong and had only expressed my views…I am extremely happy and elated over the SC order, which restores the right of freedom of speech and express as laid down by the Constitution. My case only goes to show how the powerful are helped by the administration and police, which take cognizance of even a faxed complaint.

ARRESTED FOR: Liking a comment following the demise of Shiv Sena supreme Bal Thackeray

REACTION: I am very happy today, I feel that justice has been granted to me after two years. The post for which we (she and her friend Shaheen Dhada) were arrested was not abusive or wrong, it was misunderstood. My family was always supportive of me and they never scolded me for this. Now no one has to be afraid of saying right things.

A Class 11 student, UTTAR PRADESH
ARRESTED FOR: Posting an ‘objectionable’ comment attributed to Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan

REACTION: I am very happy and grateful to the Supreme Court for scrapping it. I was under a lot of mental stress due to this. I wish that the other sections on me are also removed. I would like to tell everyone that they should be careful of whatever they post on social media.

Section 66A scrapped: Victims speak out on Supreme Court verdict