The Delhi Union of Journalists welcomes the Bombay High Court’s judgement upholding the right of citizens to freedom of speech and expression in the case against cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who was wrongly charged with sedition. The Court has held that “the freedom of speech and expression…could not have been encroached upon when there is no allegation of incitement to violence or intention to create public disorder.”
The DUJ hopes that the Supreme Court will similarly defend freedom of speech and strike down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act that provides for up to three years’ imprisonment for sending ‘offensive’ or ‘annoying’ messages on the Internet.
DUJ regrets the Uttar Pradesh police’s hasty action in arresting a schoolboy under Section 66A for an ‘objectionable’ Facebook post. DUJ believes that even if immediate proof of age is not available, it should be assumed that a schoolchild is a minor and should be dealt with under the Juvenile Justice system and not summarily sent to jail. DUJ is of the opinion that there are enough provisions on the statute books for dealing with hate speech without resorting to the draconian provisions of the IT Act.