Finally Supreme Court has struck down Section 66A as “Unconstitutional”. At the same time it has upheld the validity of Section 69 and Section 79 (intermediary rules).
This has been hailed as a victory for the free speech. I do agree that in the case of those who were wrongly booked under Section 66A, it is a huge relief. This includes people like Aseem Trivedi, Ravi Srinivasan and others who were victimized for political reasons.
However the perception that Section 66A was draconian was a creation of the Police and Politicians and what has followed as a Supreme Court decision is a vindication of this perception.
It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has not considered the section with due consideration to other aspects of the section such as Cyber Bullying, Cyber Stalking , Phishing etc which were also part of the section. The Government has also failed to put its views properly because there was no proper conviction behind their arguments.
While I fully endorse the free speech rights, what I oppose is the view that Section 66A was meant to curb free speech. This will create a wrong precedent that whenever Police donot understand a provision of law and mis apply it, there will be demand for removal of the law itself.
We shall debate the issue in greater detail once more information becomes available.