Student’s arrest over Facebook post: Supreme Court to hear plea

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015,20:53 IST By metro vaartha A A A

New Delhi | The Supreme Court today agreed to hear tomorrow a plea seeking explanation from Uttar Pradesh Police the circumstances under which a Class XII student was arrested for allegedly posting on Facebook ‘objectionable’ comments against senior Samajwadi Party leader and Minister Azam Khan.
The application in this regard was mentioned before a bench comprising Justices A R Dave, J Chelameswar and Kurian Jospeh which said that the matter will be listed for hearing tomorrow. By the time advocate Manali Singhal made an oral mention of the application, news had reached that the 19-year-old youth was granted bail and would walk out of the jail shortly on completion of formalities.
A local court had yesterday sent him to 14 day judicial custody. When the bench said that the youth has already been granted bail, Singhal pleaded that the matter required to be heard as there was a need for explanation from the Uttar Pradesh Police as to how he remained in jail for four days for the alleged offence under section 66A of the Information Technology Act which has been challenged and the judgement has been reserved by the apex court on February 26.
The present application questioning the arrest of Bareilly youth was filed by a Delhi-based girl and law student Shreya Shingal, who was the first person to file a PIL challenging the validity of section 66A of the Information and Technology Act. She has also sought amendment in Section 66A of the Act, after two girls — Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Shrinivasan — were arrested in Palghar in Thane district as one of them posted a comment against the shutdown in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray’s death and the other ‘liked’ it.
The apex court had in 2013 said a person, accused of posting objectionable comments on social networking sites, cannot be arrested without police getting permission from senior officers. The direction had come in the wake of numerous complaints of harassment and arrests, sparking public outrage.

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