How A Bill Becomes A Zombie? The Journey of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000

Tl;dr

Section 66A of the Information Technology Act (“IT Act”), 2000, was enacted into the statute through an amendment in 2008. The section penalised sending "offensive messages" via online communication. Owing to excessive vagueness in the laws, the provision was often abused by enforcement authorities and ran the risk of a chilling effect on speech over the internet. In 2015, the section was deemed unconstitutional by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Shreya Singhal v Union of India. However, despite repeated directions by the Supreme Court, the most recent in 2019, the provision continues to be invoked across the country. In an earlier article we highlighted continued prosecutions under Section 66A, as recently as March 2020. In this post we trace the journey of Section 66A of the IT Act from 2008 to 2020.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://internetfreedom.in/how-a-bill-becomes-a-zombie-the-journey-of-section-66a-of-the-information-technology-act-2000/