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Freedom to express: Supreme Court calls Section 66A of the IT Act unconstitutional

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

In a remarkable judgement, Supreme Court has called Section 66A of the Information Technology act unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act holding it as a violation of Article 19(1)a of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

“Section 66A of the IT Act is struck down in its entirety…,” said the apex court bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman.

“Our Constitution provides for liberty of thought, expression and belief. In a democracy, these values have to be provided within constitutional scheme. The law (Section 66A) is vague in its entirety,” said Justice Nariman pronouncing the judgment.

“There is no nexus between public order and discussion or causing annoyance by dissemination of information. Curbs under Section 66A of the IT Act infringes on the public right to know.”

While some petitions have contended that the words, ‘offensive’  and ‘menacing’ in the Section are vague and can be misused to undermine the very foundation of democracy. On the other hand, the Government had claimed that the Section with its guidelines is a ‘ reasonable restriction’ the right to speech and expression.

Earlier, under Section 66A, any person sending ‘offensive’ messages from a computer or any other communication device like phone, tablet, laptop could be jailed up to a period of three years.

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Twitter Overflows with Praiseworthy Posts as Milkha Singh Turns 90

A user posted a 1958 picture of Milkha Singh defeating Pakistan athlete Abdul Khaliq in the 200 metre race to win gold in Tokyo Asian Games

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One fan mentioned on Twitter that the Flying Sikh was the "Godfather of Indian Athletics". Pixabay

Twitter users heaped effusive praise as legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh turned 90 on Wednesday, with many posting throwback pictures depicting his sporting achievements and quotes.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh wrote on his Twitter handle @capt_amarinder: “Happy birthday to the pride of Punjab & India, #MilkhaSingh Ji, who turns 90 today. Wish you the best of happiness & health, sir. “Urge my young friends to take inspiration from the #FlyingSikh and indulge in sports & fitness activities for a healthier life.”

Team India’s Twitter handle @WeAreTeamIndia wrote: “Sending out warm wishes to the legendary sporting icon, a serial sprint winner of his times and the one who is most rightfully known as the #FlyingSikh.”

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi wrote: “Wishing a very happy 90th birthday to #FlyingSikh, inspiration of Millions PadmaShri #MilkhaSingh ji.”

A user posted a 1958 picture of Milkha Singh defeating Pakistan athlete Abdul Khaliq in the 200 metre race to win gold in Tokyo Asian Games. He said: “In 1958 Abdul Khaliq was the fastest man in Asia. Happy Birthday Milkha Singh”.

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Twitter users heaped effusive praise as legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh turned 90 on Wednesday, with many posting throwback pictures depicting his sporting achievements and quotes. Wikimedia Commons

Another user listed out sporting achievements of the Padma Shri awardee.

“Independent India’s first athletes to win gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Wishing you a very happy birthday Milkha Singh”, wrote another user.

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One user said: “Milkha Singh (age 90 yrs now) don’t miss his important tip. No doctor no tablet”.

One fan mentioned that the Flying Sikh was the “Godfather of Indian Athletics”. (IANS)