In her writ petition challenging the constitutional validity of Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act, Shreya Singhal said recent events had had a chilling effect on her and crores of other Internet users.
Section 66A says: “Any person who sends by means of a computer resource or a communication device any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill-will, persistently makes by making use of such computer resource or a communication device, any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.”
The petitioner contended that the Section was so wide and vague and incapable of being judged on objective standards that it was susceptible to wanton abuse. Contending that it was violative of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution, she wanted it declared unconstitutional, and an interim stay on its operation.
Earlier intervening, senior counsel Harish Salve said the issue had far-reaching consequences.
When Chief Justice Altamas Kabir wanted to know whether he was filing an intervention application, Mr. Salve said he would file one.
Later, the Chief Justice said those who wanted to file intervention applications could do so and all applications would be taken together on Friday.