SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT ON 66A OF IT ACT
The Supreme Court today reaffirmed its commitment to right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India by striking down Section 66A of the IT Act. The Supreme Court held that the said impugned provision is not saved by Article 19(2). In its verdict, the Supreme Court emphasised that liberty of thought is paramount in the country. The said provision – Section 66A of the IT Act was challenged by Peoples Union for Civil Liberty (PUCL), who has been championing the cause of civil liberties and human rights in the country. In the Writ Petition filed by PUCL pertaining to electoral reforms, the Supreme Court had held that right to know the antecedents of a candidate is voter’s right under Article 19(1)(a). One of the important aspect highlighted by the Hon’ble Court in today’s judgment is that people have a right to know. The PUCL had argued that Section 66A has to be struck down because it has no proximate relationship with Public Order and is therefore, not protected within the exceptions provided under Article 19(2). The case on behalf of PUCL was argued by Mr. Sanjay Parikh, Advocate. This will be remembered as another major achievement by the PUCL.