New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed all the state governments to follow the advisory on Section 66A of IT Act which entails that a person cannot be arrested under the act without prior approval from an inspector general rank officer.

The act is meant to deal with the offences pertaining to the posting of objectionable material and comments on social networking websites.

The Apex Court's vacation bench comprising Justice BS Chauhan and Justice Dipak Misra passed the order.

Jaya Vindhyalaya, a lawyer and president of the Andhra Pradesh unit of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), was arrested in Hyderabad on Sunday for her remarks against Congress MLA Krishnamohan from Chirala in Prakasam district.

Police had invoked the provisions of Section 66A of the IT Act and Section 120B (Conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code against Vindhyalaya.

The petitioner, law student Shreya Singhal, had challenged the arrest of Vindhyalaya. She had also contended the validity of Section 66A and urged that no arrests should be made under the Section till the Supreme Court decides on her PIL.

Section 66A of the Information Technology Act deals with punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, which cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill will.


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