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"We are back to square one wherein the FIR has been registered under Section 66A of the I.T. Act, 2000. Prima facie the action discloses complete disregard to the orders of the Hon'ble Apex Court", the High Court said.
The Allahabad High Court recently quashed a First Information Report registered under Section 66A of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008 while relying on Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, wherein the Supreme Court had declared provisions under Section 66A to be ultra vires.
While hearing the matter, the High Court had also pulled up the police officials, stating that,
Prior to being struck down as being unconstitutional in 2015, the erstwhile Section 66A of the IT Act created an offence against persons who used the internet to send infomration that, inter alia, annoys or causes inconvenience to others.
The provision was declared ultra vires the Constitution of India in Shreya Singhal's case for being vague and thereby affecting the freedom of speech and expression.
On being faced with yet another FIR citing this Section, the Allahabad High Court Bench of Justices Manoj Misra and Anil Kumar-IX said,
As such, the Court ordered that the investigation and arrest of the petitioner was to remain stayed till the next date of hearing. The Investigating Officer was directed to be physically present along with records and an explanation.
Accordingly, the Officer appeared at the next hearing and filed an affidavit admitting that except for the offence punishable under Section 66A of the IT Act, no other offence is disclosed against the petitioner.
In view of the same, the plea to dismiss the FIR was allowed.
Read the Order here.