Facebook controversy: MP calls IT Act legislative terrorism

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New Delhi, Dec 14: "This is nothing but legislative terrorism. 66A, 69A and section 80 are atrocious." This was spoken by M Rama Jois in Rajya Sabha on Friday. Jois has been a judge of high court. He was participating in the discussion on Section 66 of the IT Act, which has come under fire over the past few weeks after several people were arrested on charges of posting "offensive" content on Facebook and other social media. And, IT minister Kapil Sibal is still hoping to send an advisory against misuse of the act.

Even as Jois and other MPs spoke on the draconian nature of the law and its misuse, two girls from Palghar, whose arrest sparked the nation-wide debate, are going to interact with the students of IIM next week.

Jois termed the law as unconstitutional and was passed in a hurry. "This law is bordering on emergency situation. People will be afraid to frankly express their opinion," Jois said on Friday.

Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan

Telecom and IT minister Sibal admitted that a provision in the Information Technology Act has been misused in some states and the Centre will soon issue an advisory to check such instances of misuse.

"As per our assessment, there has been misuse (of Section 66A of IT Act) in some states...It is my personal opinion and also of Central Government that it (misuse) is not right. Hopefully, we will issue an advisory at the earliest," Sibal said replying to questions in Rajya Sabha. He, however, said the misuse is not rampant.

The most prominent of the cases related to the arrests of the two girls Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan. Shaheen had questioned the shutdown in the city after the death of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and Rinu had merely liked the comment.

A complaint was filed by an alleged Shiv Sena member following which the girls were arrested. Huge criticism followed and the two girls were released later.

Meanwhile, Shaheen and Rinu will be speaking to the students of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and share their experiences with them. "(The girls) have been invited to interact with the students and teachers of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. They will be meeting with the professors and students of the institute on December 21 and 22," said the father of one of the girls.

Rinu, who is in Chennai said "we will be visiting IIM-A to meet the students and to talk about the whole controversy which led to a nationwide debate over the issue of freedom of speech."

OneIndia News

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