CPI(M) welcomes SC verdict on "draconian" IT Act provision

The CPI(M) on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court judgement striking down a section of the IT Act, saying it not only defends civil liberties and fundamental rights of citizens but has sent the "correct message" to state govts like West Bengal that they cannot suppress dissent.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 24, 2015, 15:13 PM IST

New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court judgement striking down a section of the IT Act, saying it not only defends civil liberties and fundamental rights of citizens but has sent the "correct message" to state govts like West Bengal that they cannot suppress dissent.

"This clause, it is not so much as misuse as used by the some of the ruling governments like Mamata Banerjee's government in West Bengal to supress any kind of dissent or criticism. We hope Mamata Banerjee and leaders like that who have used 66A to supress dissent will get the correct message from the Supreme Court," CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat told PTI here.

The Court struck down a section in the cyber law which provides power to arrest a person for posting allegedly "offensive" content on websites.

Maintaining that both BJP and Congress had taken the "same anti-democratic position" on the issue, she said what the Congress had argued was the same argument that the BJP had put before the apex court.

"Both these parties have made it clear that they are not committed at all. On the contrary, they would like such clauses to be used against political dissent. Both parties have shown that they hold the same views as far as suppression of democratic dissent is concerned," Karat said.

Her senior party colleague Sitaram Yechury also termed the judgement as "a big relief" and said the provision had been used for "political vendetta against some people" which was completely unjustified.

In a statement, the CPI(M) Politburo said the "draconian" Section 66A of the IT Act was "used to arrest people who express dissenting views against the government and the State and to suppress criticism of those in power."