Section 66A of IT Act should not be deleted: Shantaram


The MP, Mr Shantaram Naik, strongly opposed a proposal put forth by Mr P Rajeeve of CPM, to delete controversial Section 66A of Information Technology Act,  which he made through a Private Members resolution.
Speaking on the debate held on Private Members Day, on Friday, on the resolution, Mr Naik said he condemns  the arrest of two girls in Maharashtra by the Maharashtra police but,  that was a case of misuse of the Section by the police, and such  incidents of misuse alone,  does not call for the deletion of the Section
He said that several  sections of Indian Penal Code, including Section 302 relating to murder have been misused from time to time and, similarly is the case with respect to preventive detention laws, but it does not mean that such laws should be taken away from statute books.
However, there is a scope for reducing the quantum of punishment, he said.
However, the MP said that nasty comments which are posted  by readers on internet news, which appear,  when a leading politician dies on account of sickness or due to an  aircrash or when  a politician is hospitalised, is crossing all the limits.
Mr Naik said that not only Section 66A should remain on statute book but it should remain as a cognizable offence and not diluted to non-cognizable one, as suggested in the resolution.
The MP said fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution has still not been interpreted in the context of 66A by the Supreme Court and, words used in Section 66A like "grossly offensive" and "menancing character" will eventually be interpreted by courts and therefore the complaint of the mover that these terms are vague is not relevant.
Mr Naik also pleaded for an act of Parliament to provide remedies for seeking damages and compensation in the matter of defamation. In India,  it is law of torts which is based on precedents in Britain,  that is being enforced, he said.
He, however, stressed the need of educating students about the stringent punishment provided under the law in the matter of misuse of internet communication system.
At the outset, Mr P Rajeeve , the mover of the resolution elaborately explained the objective behind his resolution in detail.
Members of Rajya Sabha, including Dr Gyan Prakash Pilania, Mr D Bandhopadhyay, Mr Baishnav Parida, Mr Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Mr M Rama Jois, Mr Naresh Kumar Kashyap, Mr Basavraj Patil and Mr Ramchandra Kuntiya participated in the debate. [NT]