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Government of India Ministry Of Communications and Information Technology (Department Of Electronics & Information Technology)
RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1828 Answered On March 13, 2015
Question Section 66A of the IT Act1828. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGYbe pleased to state:
(a) whether Government believes that Section 66A of the Information Technology Actin its current form is in contravention to Article 19 of the Constitution; and
(b) whether in view of its laudable Digital India ambition of bringing a billion Indiansonline,Government believes that Section 66A in its current form will impede itspolicy goals?
ANSWER MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD
(a) & (b): The Government fully respects the upholding of freedom of expression enshrined in Article 19(1)(a) and Article 19(2) of the Constitution. The Government furtheracknowledges the extraordinary reach and nature of Internet and social media particularly inthe field of information sharing and dissemination and its resultant advantages to the society.The Information Technology Act 2000 only seeks to regulate the use of cyberspace whichwould fall within any of and/or all categories stipulated under Article 19(2) of the Constitutionof India. Therefore, the Government firmly believes that the provision of Section 66A in theInformation Technology Act 2000 requires to be interpreted and understood strictly in thecontext of Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India.
Hon'ble Supreme Court is presently having judicial review of Section 66A of the InformationTechnology Act 2000 in writ petition challenging the provision. The judgement is awaited.The directions given by Hon'ble Supreme Court will be implemented by the Government.