After the Supreme Court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act by terming it unconstitutional, the Mumbai police on Tuesday decided to review at least 12 cases filed recently under the controversial section.
Officials, however, clarified that the cases were ones in which the charge sheet was still to be filed.
The Supreme Court held that the expressions used in Section 66A of the Act, which had
been used by various administrations against inconvenient posts in cyber space, are “completely open-ended and undefined”.
A senior police officer told HT that police stations and the cybercrime investigation units have been asked to get more information regarding the application of the Act in cases registered in past six months and to get more evidence.
Only if the evidence is found to be in consonant with the offences under the Act, a go ahead will be given for filing the charge sheet. “Otherwise, the charges under the IT Act will be dropped and the charge sheet will be filed under other sections of the law,” the officer said. It is rare for the police to charge someone only under the IT Act. The section is applied along with other legal provisions for offences related to offensive, derogatory or dangerous contents on the Internet.
The officer, however, made it clear that the cases that will be reviewed will not have an impact on old cases. “As the order has no retrospective effect, chargesheeted cases will be tried under the Act,” he said.
When contacted, Dhananjay Kulkarni, Mumbai police spokesperson, said the police are going to respond to the court’s order by taking a review. “The needful will be done,” he said.