Internet has never been governed and it is a hotbed of innovation even today
Section 66 (A) of the Information Technology (IT) Act, which has been in news for being vague and inconsistent, may be another scam in making as it gives too much discretionary power to the police. While legal experts call it ultra vires the Constitution, Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar plans to file a public interest litigation (PIL) against the section to give a direction to the government to re-frame the law which very precisely and objectively defines the crime, the safeguards and the punishment. Right now, he feels that the wordings of the law are very vague and interpretation is at the hands of the police, which is not well equipped to understand its intricacies.
“This is not the way laws are made and I plan to file a PIL in the Supreme Court as the violation of this section is similar to other scams. Moreover, the way things stand today most issues finally get decided through courts. In fact, the government should be reviewing this Act as its utmost priority but it is not doing so. If the government does not do it then we need a court’s intervention,” Chandrasekhar told FE in the course of an interview.
The section provides for imprisonment for sending information which is ‘menacing in character’, used to cause ‘inconvenience’, ‘hatred’ and ‘annoyance’ and imprisonment up to three years and fine for sending spam or unsolicited e-mail messages through computer resource or communication device. This is the reason why it has faced the ire of cyber experts who say that it is misused and misinterpreted because it defines offenses which are open to any interpretation. “What may be annoyance for me may not be for someone else. How can things be defined so loosely in law,” asked Chandrasekhar.
This misuse was seen recently in several cases for instance where the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s government got a professor arrested for ‘maligning’ her over a cartoon on the internet. Karti Chidambaram’s complaint that an industrialist posted ‘offensive’ posts against him on Twitter had the latter arrested and subsequently released on bail. The most recent case was of two girls who were arrested for posting comments on the Facebook related to the demise of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, which was seen as offensive.
The government woke up to the need of a change in