Should Supreme Court take a stand to regulate Cyber Space?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Subham Das , MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


 

Economic Times reported on 23rd March, 2015 , “The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce tomorrow its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging constitutional validity of certain sections of the cyber law including a provision under which a person can be arrested for allegedly posting “offensive” contents on websites. ”

Just to make it clear, this problem came to the surface when 2 girls in Mumbai were arrested for commenting on Facebook against the shutdown of Mumbai due to the death of Bal Thakrey. This arrest was highlighted in the print media as well as social media so much that finally the Mumbai police was forced to release the girls following a public outrage. After this event, there were few similar arrests in and around India for “offensive” comments on social media.

This called for a guideline as to what should be termed as “Offensive” comment and when should the police make an arrest. In the interim period, due to public outrage, the Government made it a mandate for the police to take permission from the DIG before making an arrest on the grounds of making offensive comments in social media.

Now, from the perspective of general public, everyone should be allowed to express their views on social media. At the same time, from the Government’s perspective, any comments targeting any political party could really hamper that party’s image as the social media is dominated by the Youths of India and they have the voting power.

So, it’s a real dilemma for the Government because the Government does not want to curtail the free speech and expression. But, at the same time, the social media cannot be left unregulated as  people can really misuse the free speech and intentionally target anyone by writing offensive, untrue and fabricated comments.

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