The Advanced Center for Research, Development and Training in Cyber Laws and Forensics, (ACRDTCLF) of the National Law School of India University (NLSUI), Bangalore held a round table on 11th April 2015 to discuss the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision on Shreya Singhal v Union of India case in which Section 66A of ITA 2008 was struck down.
Several Professors from NLSUI and industry experts participated in the deliberations. NLSUI is in the process of collating the views and developing a white paper on the impact of the decision.
During the deliberations, Professor Nagaratna presented the details of the judgement and her views on the impact. This was followed by a presentation by a research student, Ms Saachi Poudal on the impact of the decision on the society on women and children in particular. Mr Srikumar, former DGP of Karnataka and former CVC provided his views from the law enforcement perspective. Naavi provided his perspective on the jdugement as a long time observer of the Cyber Law scenario. Professor T V Subbarao shared his views as an expert in Constitutional matters along with Professor S.B.N. Prakash. Mr S Balasubramanya of TCS and Mr Ranganath of IBM presented the industry views on the judgement particularly on Section 79. Mr Shivakumar, advocate presented the views from the Human Rights perspective.
All the participants were unanimous in their view that the Judgement was erroneous for multiple reasons> Many felt that the way out is for a new drafting. Naavi indicated that if new law has to be drafted it has to be a comprehensive revision of ITA 2008 and is unlikely to be completed before a couple of years. Alternatives suggested were for filing of a curative petition or a review. Since this was a two member bench decision, it was felt that there is a scope for a review by a larger bench.
NLSUI will consolidate the view after which the future course would be determined.