India scraps draconian information technology law

Updated: 2015-03-24 15:06


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NEW DELHI - India's Supreme Court Tuesday scrapped a draconian information technology law, saying it infringes on freedom of speech online.

The court struck down the contentious Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, introduced in 2000, after declaring it as "unconstitutional" in a landmark judgment.

The apex court described the law, which allowed the arrest of a person for posting offensive content online, as "vague in its entirety" and said it encroaches upon "the public's right to know".

The order came in the wake of a petition by an Indian law student who had challenged the law after two young women were arrested in 2012 for posting on social media comments.

The two women had criticized the total shutdown in Mumbai following the death of a regional party leader Bal Thackeray, the Shiv Sena chief.

Many people had been earlier arrested under the law, which slated for a punishment of up to three years in jail, by police across India for posting offensive comments online.