The Supreme Court on Monday said it was shocked to know that the police were still filing cases under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, which it had scrapped in 2015, Live Law reported. It issued a notice to the Centre in the matter.

The provision allowed the police to arrest those who posted offensive content online. The Supreme Court struck down the section in March 2015 after hearing a petition filed against it by Mumbai-based law student Shreya Singhal, according to NDTV. She had approached the court after two women were arrested for questioning the shutdown in Mumbai for Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s funeral, according to PTI.

On Monday, a bench headed by Justice RF Nariman heard a petition filed by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, seeking that the police be advised against filing cases under the scrapped section.

Section 66A of the IT Act has continued to be in use not only within police stations but also in cases before trial courts across India,” the organisation said in its petition, according to The Hindu. “This information was available on a website – Zombie Tracker website – developed by a team of independent researchers... The findings of the website reveal that as on March 10, 2021, as many as a total of 745 cases are still pending and active before the Districts Courts in 11 States, wherein accused persons are being prosecuted for offences under Section 66A of the IT Act.”

The petitioners’ lawyer Sanjay Parikh told the court that the police had filed 1,307 new cases under the section since 2015, according to NDTV. “Please look at how cases have increased... people are suffering”, he said.

Justice Nariman expressed dismay at the situation. “Amazing,” he said, according to Live Law. “That’s all what I can say. Shreya Singhal is a 2015 judgement. What is going on is terrible. It is shocking. We are issuing notice.”

The judge directed the Centre to file a counter-affidavit in the case. The court will hear the matter after two weeks.