Panel to discuss amendments to Section 66A of IT Act today
The need to amend Section 66A arose as it was felt that not only it is harsh, it is also vague in defining crime. For instance, it provides for imprisonment for sending information which is ‘menacing in character’, used to cause ‘inconvenience’, ‘hatred’ and ‘annoyance’.
The 20-member panel headed by communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal will discuss recent cases like those of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee getting a professor arrested for ‘maligning’ her over a cartoon, Karti Chidambaram’s complaint that an industrialist posted ‘offensive’ posts against him on Twitter and the latest case of two girls being arrested for Facebook comments on Bal Thackeray’s demise.
Section 66A of the amended Act provides for imprisonment of up to three years and fine for sending spam or unsolicited emails. “The meeting is taking place now because cyber rules were made earlier but no one understood their implications then. With an increase in the number of such cases, amending the section has become important,” said an official who will participate in the meeting.
The Section has faced the cyber experts’ ire, who say it is misused and misinterpreted because it defines offences which are open to any interpretation.
“The section questions the
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