Kapil Sibal says Facebook arrests wrong, mulls change in IT law to prevent misuse
Following national outrage over the police action, Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal had said he was “deeply saddened” by the arrests, and that the IT Act should not be “misused” to “throttle dissent”.
“We will talk to all stakeholders and if there is consensus, we will write to states asking them to designate senior police officers without whose clearance arrests under the Information Technology Act can’t be made,” Sibal told The Indian Express in an interview.
“We may ask them that unless the designated officer decides that the offence requires police action, no action should be initiated. It can be a IG-level officer or somebody senior, whose job it will be to certify that a particular case is fit enough to be proceeded against under 66A... You will have a fair level of protection (from the abuse of the law),” Sibal said.
Section 66A (sending offensive messages) of the IT Act provides for a three-year jail term for a wide range of offences from sending messages of a “menacing character” to “causing annoyance or inconvenience”.
The government, Sibal said, was open to considering all options on the law.
“We have a meeting on November 29. We will see