SC’s direction: Stop prosecuting people under S.66A

The Supreme Court has disposed of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)’s application for directions to stop the continuing prosecutions under S.66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000). The SC pronounced a significant order and issued several directions to ensure that individuals are no longer prosecuted under S.66A. S.66A was struck down by SC in Shreya Singhal vs Union of India & Ors., (2015) 5 SCC 1. Still, cases continue to be registered under it, as PUCL informed the SC in these proceedings. Recognising the graveness of the situation, SC directed: 1) individuals should not be prosecuted under the section; 2) existing cases shall stand deleted; 2) governments should instruct police not to register fresh cases; and 4) government publications which refer to S.66A should state that SC has struck it down in Shreya Singhal.

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