The Supreme Court on Tuesday remarked that the registration of cases under the repealed Section 66A of the Information Technology Act was a “matter of serious concern”, Live Law reported.
The court told the Union government to direct states where such cases have been filed to “take remedial measures as soon as possible”.
The Supreme Court had struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act as unconstitutional in 2015. Under the provision, a person posting content deemed to be offensive could be jailed for up to three years.
The Supreme Court was on Tuesday hearing a petition by non-governmental organisation People’s Union for Civil Liberties. Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for the organisation, submitted details of cases registered by law enforcement authorities even after the provision was declared as unconstitutional.
A bench comprising Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat noted that most states had unequivocally said that no cases under the provision were pending in their jurisdictions.
“However, there still appears some instances where the concerned provision has been invoked and the offences in that behalf are still pending consideration,” the Supreme Court said. “It is a matter of serious concern that despite pronouncement of this court, offences under 66A are still being considered.”
The court directed Zoheb Hossain, the counsel for the Union government, to contact chief secretaries of states where cases under the provision were still pending and to “impress upon them to take remedial measures as early as possible”, according to PTI.
The case will be heard again in three weeks.
On July 14, 2021, the Centre had directed states and Union Territories to immediately withdraw all existing cases under Section 66A.
“Prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes, and capacity building of police personnel are primary responsibility of states,” the Centre had said in an affidavit before the court. “The law enforcement agencies take legal action as per provisions of law against the cyber crime offenders and accordingly the LEAs share equal responsibility to comply with the said  judgement.”