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At least 799 cases remain pending under the eliminated section of the TI Act | India News

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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). Section 66A was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2015.
These findings were published by IFF, in collaboration with 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. According to Sekhri, the website data was obtained from the district courts.
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 and there were 236 cases with sentences. A section of the website also 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 sending “offensive messages” online, but did not define offensive, leading to its widespread misuse. . The section was deemed unconstitutional by the SC in 2015, but the police still use it to reserve people.
Zakir Ali Tyagi was booked under section 66A in 2017 for criticizing Uttar Pradesh Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath. “I was lucky that the police did not mistreat me in any way. But I still have to defend myself in court and bear the legal expenses,” Tyagi said at the tracker launch.

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