India Once Again Awakens To Freedom: A Watershed Moment

Indian Supreme Court has given India what it deserves -- a chance to experience free and open Internet and protection against censorship. The court said that Section 66A of the IT Act was not compatible with the morality of freedom, with our constitutional law, or with the human rights of every Indian. Even as successive governments were busy dithering, ducking, making U-turns, attempting as much as possible to change the subject, and, wherever they failed to change the subject, took the excuse of national security, the believers marched on. Since its introduction back in October 2000, the Information Technology Act has proved to be a highly controversial piece of legislation.

Section 66A was introduced without any debate in the Parliament through a 2008 amendment post the Mumbai attacks. It quickly garnered a reputation as a convenient tool of political censorship. Concerned by the recurring arrests made under Section 66A, a young law student filed in public interest before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of 66A. Several others joined, variously challenging other nefarious parts of the IT Act.

Today, the Indian Supreme Court in a landmark judgment reminded us that the freedom of speech and of the press is the Ark of the Covenant of Democracy, because public criticism is essential to the working of its institutions

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