FB case: SC seeks explanation from Maha govt on girls' arrest

SC

Rohatgi said that the provision of the IT Act, which gives power to arrest, is "wholly unconstitutional" and needed to be done away with.

"The provision is unconstitutional. Of course, it would be decided by the Supreme Court," he said, adding that a direction to all the states was required that no case be registered under this provision unless the complaint is seen and approved by the DGP concerned of the state as "the law and order is a state subject and unless there is some kind of order from this court, this (abuse of the provision) may not stop."

There are thousands of police stations in the country and, hence an order from this court is needed, Rohatgi said, to which the bench said that all police stations are not alike.

Meanwhile, some other civil rights group and NGOs submitted to the court that they be also allowed to intervene as parties to the ongoing hearing on this issue.

"Not only one section, there are other provisions of the Act and the rules which are unconstitutional," Prashant Bhushan said, while seeking to intervene as a party.

Rohatgi said, "I have no objection if a person is allowed to intervene..."

Yesterday, while agreeing to hear the PIL seeking amendments to the IT Act, the bench had said, "The way the little children were arrested, it outraged the sentiments of the people of the country. The way these things had been taking place needs consideration."

The petitioner, Shreya, in her plea, has contended that "the phraseology of Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000 is so wide and vague and incapable of being judged on objective standards, that it is susceptible to wanton abuse and, hence falls foul of Article 14, 19 (1)(a) and Article 21 of the Constitution."

Shreya, in her plea, has said that "unless there is judicial sanction as a prerequisite to the setting into motion the criminal law with respect to freedom of speech and expression, the law as it stands is highly susceptible to abuse and for muzzling free speech in the country."

... contd.

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