The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response on a petition claiming that several people were arrested under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act though it was scrapped several years ago. The statute criminalised sending offensive messages online.
A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman said concerned officials will be arrested and jailed if they violate the court’s earlier order.
On March 24, 2015, the court struck down the law for being vague, untenable and unconstitutional. It had ruled that the law violated several fundamental rights. Despite this, more than 22 people have been arrested under the provision of this Act, the petition filed by non-government organisation PUCL said.
The court had in 2015 ruled that the Act violated Article 14, providing for equality before the law, Article 19, which includes freedom of speech and expression, and Article 21, or right to life and personal liberty, all constitutional Fundamental Rights.