Government Issues New Guidelines to Arrest Under IT Act

TNI Bureau: After widespread nationwide outrage over the misuse of the Information Technology Act and particularly the arrest of two Palghar based women who had posted on Face book criticising Mumbai-bandh, the government has issued new guidelines to stop misuse of a particular section of the Information Technology Act.

It is to be noted that, section 66[a] of IT Act provides for a jail term of up to three years making it an offence to send by means of computer resource or communication device any information which is grossly offensive, menacing, causes annoyance or hatred.

Now the cases dealing with spreading messages of reported hatred by electronic medium will be decided by a senior police officer not below the rank of DCP in rural and urban areas.

An IGP rank officer will have to give prior approval for registration of cases relating to the section 66(a) of IT Act in metro-Politian cities.

Communication and IT Minister Kapil Sibal yesterday met Civil society activists for internet freedom who sought clarifications on the section 66(a) of the IT Act in New Delhi. An advisory to this effect has also been sent to all states and Union territories.

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