HYDERABAD: A judgment delivered by a local court invoking an already annulled Section 66 (A) of Information Technology Act, 2000 (punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service) by convicting an accused was suspended by the Nampally court here on Wednesday.
Express had reported in these columns about out the anomaly in the lower court’s verdict. A few weeks ago, the first additional chief metropolitan magistrate, Hyderabad, acting as in-charge magistrate for the court of sixth additional chief metropolitan magistrate, Hyderabad had convicted an accused of an offence under section 66A of IT Act and other offences though Section 66(A) had been struck down by the Supreme Court in 2015.
The particular case was registered by CID’s cyber crime wing in 2010. After hearing the arguments of both counsels, the local court had convicted the accused under various sections, including Section 66 A of IT Act.
Gopala Krishna Kalanidhi, counsel for the accused who challenged the local court’s judgment, said “After verifying the appeal petition, the court suspended the judgment till further orders.”
LAW BOOKS: Gopala Krishna filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking a direction to law publications to print new books stating that 66A of IT Act was struck down and to local courts not to convict any accused under the section.
“The local court judgment is in violation of Article 141 of Constitution and in violation of the order passed by the apex court by convicting the accused under Section 66(A), imposed one-year simple imprisonment and levied a fine of ` 5,000. Section 66A of IT Act still appears in law books, particularly the 2017 edition of a book published by Gogia Law Agency, Hyderabad.
It was nothing but an act of misguiding all the courts, whether trial or appellate courts of India,” Gopala Krishna said.
In his PIL filed before the apex court, Gopala Krishna said the Union government had not issued any notification or GO repealing Sec.66A of IT Act even two years after the Supreme Court struck it down on March 24, 2015.
The inaction is highly violative of Article 19(1) and violation of Article 141 of the Constitution.