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How FIR U/s 66A IT Act Has Been Registered? Allahabad HC Pulls Up UP Police; Seeks Explanation From Mathura SSP [Read Order]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
8 Aug 2020 5:52 AM GMT
How FIR U/s  66A IT Act Has Been Registered? Allahabad HC Pulls Up UP Police; Seeks Explanation From Mathura SSP  [Read Order]
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The Allahabad High Court, in an order passed last week, directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mathura to file his personal affidavit explaining as to how the F.I.R. has been registered under section 66A of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.The Court was considering a petition filed seeking quashing of F.I.R. against the accused under sections 66A and 67B Information...

The Allahabad High Court, in an order passed last week, directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mathura to file his personal affidavit explaining as to how the F.I.R. has been registered under section 66A of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.

The Court was considering a petition filed seeking quashing of F.I.R. against the accused under sections 66A and 67B Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 along with Sections 294, 500, 504, 506 and 509 IPC. The Division Bench of Justices Ramesh Sinha and Raj Beer Singh observed:

"As per the judgement of the Apex Court in the case of Shreya Singhal Vs. Union of India 2015 (5) SCC 1, F.I.R. under section 66A of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 cannot be registered, as the same has been declared to be ultravires. Senior Superintendent of Police, Mathura is directed to file his personal affidavit explaining as to how the F.I.R. has been registered under section 66A of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 by the next date."

The case is next posted on 26th August, 2020. 

HC Refused To Quash 66A Charges Last Month

Last month, Live Law had reported about two orders of the Allahabad High Court  refusing to quash the FIR under Section 66A. In one case, a Journalist Shiv Kumar (Amar Ujala), had approached the High Court seeking to quash the FIR registered against him under section 188 and 505 of Indian Penal Code read with section 3 of Epidemic Act and Section 66A of Information Technology Act. Disposing of his petition, the Court found that 'it is apparent that cognizable offence is there for which investigation is in process, hence no ground for indulgence is made out.'  In the other case, the bench headed by Justice Ramesh Sinha refused to quash the F.I.R.registered against a person named Rohit Singhal under Section 66A Information Technology Act  even though the counsel cited the Supreme Court judgment in Shreya Singhal.

The Supreme Court had struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act in its entirety in a judgment delivered in 2015 (Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India). Last year, the Apex Court had expressed its concern and displeasure about the continued use of this 'unconstitutional' Section 66A of the IT Act.

Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, was struck down for being violative of Article 19(1)(a) and not saved under Article 19(2). Section 66A was introduced in the Information Technology Act by virtue of an Amendment Act of 2009. The said provision penalised any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,— (a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or (b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device; or (c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages. The offence was made punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.
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