Supreme Court questions arrest in Azam Khan Facebook post row

The March 18, 2015 arrest of a 19-year-old boy by the Uttar Pradesh Police for allegedly posting an “objectionable” statement, attributed to SP leader Azam Khan, on Facebook is in contradiction to the Union government’s repeated assurances in the Supreme Court on free speech on the social media.  

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to explain the arrest of a class 12 boy for allegedly posting an “objectionable” comment about ruling Samajwadi Party leader and Minister Azam Khan on Facebook.

A Bench led by Justice J. Chelameswar gave the State four weeks to respond.

The U.P. government said it can “demonstrate the comment made by the boy was ‘defamatory and inflammatory’”.

Appearing for petitioner Shreya Singhal, senior advocate Soli Sorabjee submitted that “there has been an abuse of power” despite advisory issued by the Centre to all States against such arrests.

The U.P. government said the boy has appropriate remedy under the law and he is now on bail.

The Supreme Court has reserved its judgment on the constitutionality of provisions like section 66A of the Information Technology Act which provides for such arrests.

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 6:21:42 PM |

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