The Bombay High Court has observed that merely liking a post on social media is not an offence under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, reported Bar and Bench.
However, the High Court added that sharing or retweeting such posts would amount to “transmission” under the provision.
Section 67 of the Act deals with the punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form.
The High Court passed the order on October 18 on the petition of a man named Mohammed Imran Kazi seeking to quash charges against him of making social media posts that led to over 500 Muslims assemble for a procession without a permit, reported The Hindu. The police have alleged that the procession threatened peace and security.
Kazi’s counsel argued that there was no material against him to show that he committed an offence.
The investigating officer in the case told the court that Kazi had liked a social media post calling for the assembly. However, the officer failed to provide any evidence to support that Kazi had created or shared the post.
The court, however, observed that just liking the post does not attract Section 67 of the Act. It also observed that the section is for obscene and not for “provocative” material.
“The words ‘lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest’ mean relating to sexual interest and desire, therefore, Section 67 IT Act does not prescribe any punishment for other provocative material,” the court added.