Summary of the Judgment in Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India [Read the Judgment]

Summary of the Judgment in Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India [Read the Judgment]

The Supreme Court of India in Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India examine the validity of various provisions in Information Technology Act, 2000. Here is the summary of the Judgment:



  1. Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 is struck  down  in  its entirety being violative of Article 19(1)(a) and  not  saved  under  Article 19(2).
  2. Section 69A and the  Information  Technology  (Procedure & Safeguards for Blocking  for  Access of Information by   Public) Rules 2009 are constitutionally valid.
  3. Section 79 is valid subject to Section 79(3)(b)  being  read  down  to  mean that an intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge from a court  order  or on being notified by the appropriate government or its agency that  unlawful acts relatable to Article 19(2) are going to  be  committed  then  fails  to expeditiously remove or disable access to  such material.   Similarly,  the Information Technology  "Intermediary  Guidelines"  Rules,  2011  are  valid subject to Rule 3 sub-rule (4)  being  read  down  in  the  same  manner  as indicated in the judgment. (Section 79(3)(b) has to be read down to  mean  that  the  intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge that a court order has  been  passed  asking it to expeditiously remove or disable access to certain material must  then fail to expeditiously remove or disable access to that  material. This is for the reason that otherwise it would be very difficult for  intermediaries like Google, Facebook etc. to act when millions of  requests  are  made  and the intermediary is  then  to  judge  as  to  which  of  such  requests  are legitimate and  which  are  not.   We  have  been  informed  that  in  other countries worldwide this view has gained acceptance, Argentina being in  the forefront. Also, the Court order and/or the notification by the  appropriate Government or its agency must strictly conform to the subject  matters  laid down in Article 19(2).  Unlawful acts beyond what is laid  down  in  Article 19(2) obviously cannot  form  any  part  of  Section  79.   With  these  two caveats, we refrain from striking down Section 79(3)(b).)
  4. Section 118(d) of the Kerala Police Act is struck down  being  violative  of Article 19(1)(a) and not saved by Article 19(2).


Read the Judgment here