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Section 66 A of IT Act was badly drafted: Jaitley

Arun-Jaitley

New Delhi, Oct. 26 : Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday asserted that Section 66A of Information Technology Act, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in March, was badly drafted.

” Section 66A of IT act was very badly drafted. The width and ambit of 66 A was much wider than the restriction of Article 19 (A),” said Jaitley while speaking at the Sardar Patel memorial lecture.

“The only restrictions which can be imposed are the restrictions which are envisaged under Article 19 (A). The moment you travel beyond 19 (2) restrictions, you violate the right of free speech irrespective of the medium that the principle will hold whether you are speaking in a public meeting, an auditorium, in print media or social media,” he added.

The Supreme Court had earlier in March said such a law hit at the root of liberty and freedom of expression, the two cardinal pillars of democracy. The apex court said the section has to be erased from the law books as it has gone much beyond the reasonable restrictions put by the Constitution on freedom of speech.

The apex court also said Section 66 A was vaguely worded and allowed its misuse by police. (ANI)