Section 66A struck down: 'No more fear of expressing opinions', says petitioner

Hailing the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the controversial Section 66A of the IT Act, Shreya Singhal , one of the petitioners in the case, on Tuesday said that no one would fear expressing their opinions online anymore.

ANI| Last Updated: Mar 24, 2015, 11:36 AM IST

New Delhi: Hailing the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the controversial Section 66A of the IT Act, Shreya Singhal , one of the petitioners in the case, on Tuesday said that no one would fear expressing their opinions online anymore.

"Under Section 66A, you cannot be jailed anymore because the section stands invalid. I am not advocating the defamation of someone, but there are other provisions in the IPC, that ensure that hate speeches are dealt with. However, there is no blanket provision that will curtail your freedom of speech. No one should fear putting something up online anymore," said Singhal.

"There were two tests that were put to the Section 66A -clear and present danger and the probability of inciting hatred. Section 66A has failed those tests because the posts that people were jailed for did not incite public hatred or disrupted law and order," she added.

Meanwhile, advocate Manali Singhal, Shreya's mother, opined that the consequences of the apex court's decision will be positive.

"We're very happy. The consequences are going to be very positive. Now people are not going to be scared to exchange and put their views on internet freely," she said.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court struck down the IT Act Section 66A, terming it 'unconstitutional'.

According to reports, the apex court ruled that the section falls outside Article 19(2), which relates to Freedom of Speech, and thus has to be struck down in its entirety.

The first PIL was filed in 2012 after two girls in Thane were arrested after commenting against the shutdown in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray's death. In 2013, the apex court had come out with an advisory under which a person cannot be arrested without the police receiving permission from senior officers.

Last week, the Uttar Pradesh Police had arrested a Class 11 student from Bareilly for allegedly posting 'objectionable remarks' against Samajawadi Party leader Azam Khan.