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IT Act lands govt in a tight spot.

THE government is finding itself painted into a corner over the controversial Section 66A of the IT Act.

The private member's resolution moved in the Rajya Sabha on Friday by CPM MP P. Rajeeve, seeking the amendment of the " draconian" section " to make it consistent with the freedom of speech guaranteed in the Constitution", has received widespread support from all political parties except the Congress.

" Phrases like ' grossly offensive material', ' causing inconvenience', ' insult', which the section presents as crimes, are vague and draconian," Rajeeve said.

The CPM MP, an advocate of Internet freedom, also said the punishment specified under Section 66A is stricter even than the IPC. The BJP's Gyan Prakash Pilania supported Rajeeve and emphasised the " illegality and ultra vires nature of Section 66A". He also said the IT Act was passed in haste at the end of the winter session in 2008 after it was moved by the then telecom minister A. Raja, who was subsequently jailed in connection with the 2G scam.

Earlier in the day, telecom minister Kapil Sibal agreed Section 66A was being misused and promised that the government will issue an advisory to states to prevent the same.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Dec 15, 2012
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