Following the decision of the apex court in which Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act, which violated the Right to Freedom of Speech on the Internet, was struck down, the UT Police will be reviewing the cases registered under the section. From 2012 to February 28 this year, the Chandigarh Police has registered 75 cases under this section.
Out of these, 12 cases are presently under trial, 11 remain untraced and two FIRs were cancelled. Further, 15 cases are registered only under Section 66 A, while the rest also have other sections imposed on the accused.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sukhchain Singh Gill said they are waiting for the judgment of the petition decided by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. “After going through the judgment, we will review all the cases registered under Section 66 A of the IT Act. However, the other sections of the IPC and the IT Act will remain wherever applicable.”
On June 23 last year, Satinder Singh and Jasbir Singh were booked for allegedly sending a message on WhatsApp which mocked Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The case is under trial.
On December 30, 2011, the Chandigarh police held Nitin Jindal, 35, a resident of Sector 19, Panchkula, for allegedly using “unparliamentary and abusive language” against the police on the Chandigarh Police’s traffic police Facebook page. Jindal was accused of posting over two dozen abusive messages on the page, and used to delete the posts, leaving just the comments on his post. He would even challenge the police saying they could not act against him. Jindal was booked under various sections of the Information Technology Act, and the case is under trial in a lower court.
In another such incident, Henna Bakshi, a 22-year-old winner of Geeta Chopra Bravery Award, was booked for allegedly posting abusive comments on the same Facebook page on September 17, 2012. While the case had hit the headlines, the police had sent an “untraced report” in the case as Facebook denied sharing the information on the Internet Protocol (IP) logs required for building the case against her. In her comments, Henna had claimed that she had to face harassment after her Multi-Utility Vehicle (MUV) was stolen from her friend’s house in Sector 18 on August 11, 2012. She described registering an FIR in the vehicle theft case as “stressful”.
A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Justices S S Saron and Lisa Gill had initiated contempt proceedings against a couple, residents of Mohali, Gagan Chadha and Rupinder Kaur, who had recently posted objectionable content against a judgment passed by the bench in a matrimonial dispute between the two. Though the post was removed by the two, Justice Saron issued a show-cause notice to the two, asking them to explain why an action on the basis of criminal contempt of court should not be taken against them.