MHA asks states, UTs to ‘immediately withdraw’ FIRs under repealed Sec-66A of IT Act

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MHA asks states, UTs to ‘immediately withdraw’ FIRs under repealed Sec-66A of IT Act

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 14

The Centre on Wednesday advised the states and Union Territories (UTs) to direct police stations in their respective jurisdictions to “immediately withdraw the cases registered under the repealed-Section 66A of the Information Technology Act”. The directive came days after the Supreme Court expressed shock that the law was being invoked even six years after it was struck down by the apex court.

In its advisory, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the authorities in states and UTs to direct all police stations not to register cases under the repealed provision and sensitise

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the law enforcement agencies for compliance of the order issued by the Supreme Court.

“The MHA has also requested that if any case has been booked in states and UTs under Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000, such cases should immediately be withdrawn,” the government said in an official release.

In view of the Supreme Court judgment, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, through a letter in January 2019, and the MHA, via two letters in January and April 2019, had asked the states and UTs to sensitise the police department and local police authorities for strict compliance of the Court directive, it said.

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“It has been brought to our notice through an application in the Supreme Court that FIRs are still being lodged by some police authorities under the struck down provision…Supreme Court has taken a very serious view in the matter,” said the MHA advisory.

The section penalises “grossly offensive, menacing, or to send communication which the sender “knows to be false to cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will”. The provision was struck down by the Supreme court in March 2015.

 

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