SC’s ruling on Section 66A still does not ensure the degree of digital free speech that many have assumed since the judgment came out.
The much awaited SC judgment on Section 66A was pronounced
yesterday. Some felt relieved that democracy was back. Reactions
betrayed the fact that most people considered Section 66A as the only
impediment to digital free speech.
Amusingly, around half a day after several people read and plugged his anguish, Julio Ribeiro admitted in an interview to a private news channel that his writing was “slightly exaggerated” and that his aim was to grab attention.
Ever since an elaborate letter written by Jayanthi Natarajan to Sonia Gandhi became public, Congress has been struggling to explain a long-time party loyalist’s confirmation of the widely known secret of how the grand old party operates since UPA came to power in 2004.
Kartikeya Tanna says that with the decision on Sanskrit-KVS controversy, the apex court has quite clearly blunted the outrage factory that loves to spread fear of a conjured up ‘saffronisation’.
Supreme Court insisting that it will vet names finalised before they are sent to the President is not only outside the bounds of the law, but serves no real purpose.
Section 66A makes it a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment and fine if any exercise of speech or expression over the Internet causes, inter alia, “annoyance”, “inconvenience”, is “grossly offensive”, has “menacing character”, “insult” etc.
It doesn’t require digging too deep into the archives to recollect how, during Ranjit Sinha’s tenure, the CBI floated all kinds of theories in the Ishrat Jahan case which proved a damp squib when it came to a follow up and how CBI’s decisions of closure or non-closure swung rather coincidentally with the behaviour of the ruling party’s allies.
Although some of these instances are not ‘social justice issues’ per se, they indicate a trend where the judiciary is very comfortable with making statements that can be made into garden variety headlines in the next day’s papers. That such headlines owe their origin to the apex court of the land (as opposed to opposition parties) gives them a misleading sense of infallibility.
A group of four students filed a PIL in the HC asking, inter alia, undergraduate women students of AMU from having access to the main library.