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799 pending cases under IT Act section removed | India News


NEW DELHI: At least 799 cases are still pending against individuals under the removed Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, according to the digital advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF). The Supreme Court struck down Section 66A in 2015.
The findings were published by IFF, in collaboration with the Civic Data Lab (CDL), and have been presented via a website zombietracker.in. The website has details of the total of registered cases, pending cases and those resolved by the courts in 11 states of the country. The highest number of pending cases under 66A comes from Maharashtra (320), followed by Uttar Pradesh (131) and Jharkhand (118).
“We plan to expand our research and include data from other states on the website soon,” said Abhinav Sekhri, a member of the CDL. The data for the website was obtained from the district courts, Sekhri added.
According to the tracker, 1,988 cases were recorded under Section 66A of the IT Act in 11 states. Of these, 1,189 cases were resolved, including 236 with verdicts.
Cops still book people under Section 66A
A section of the website shows that 1,307 cases were registered after the Supreme Court declared Section 66A unconstitutional, and of these 570 cases are still pending before various courts. Section 66A, often described as an impediment to free speech, was enacted into statute through an amendment in 2008.
It criminalized the sending of “offensive messages” online, but did not define offensive, leading to its widespread misuse. Despite SC’s order declaring the section unconstitutional, the police still search people under the section.

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