No FIR under section 66A of Information Technology Act: Allahabad HC

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The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has quashed a charge sheet for charges under Section 66A of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008. The court said that no FIR is to be registered under the provision of the Act as per directives of the Supreme Court.

Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan observed that, “I put my note that this case is a clear-cut example of non-application of mind by the Investigating Officer who has filed charge sheet on Section 66A of the IT Act, 2008 which has already been struck down by the Apex court.

The court was hearing a petition filed under Section 482 CrpPC seeking quashing of the charge sheet and summoning order for the offence under Section 66A of IT (Amendment) Act 2008.

Aniruddh Kumar Singh, additional government advocate (AGA), submitted that that vires of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 was assailed before the Apex Court in Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India, reported in (2015) 5 SCC 1, whereby the apex court vide judgment and order vide para 119, has struck down Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 treating the same being violative of Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India.

In view of the judgment of Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal (Supra) case, the Court quashed the summoning order and charge sheet and directed as follows: “This order shall be circulated to all the District Courts and shall be provided to the Director General of Police, so that no FIR is lodged under Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000.”

Section 66(A) of the Act criminalises the sending of offensive messages through a computer or other communication devices.

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