Man arrested for tweeting against P Chidambaram's Son

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Daredevil, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Man tweets that Chidambaram's son amassed more cash than Vadra, gets arrested

    A small scale industrialist here was today arrested on the charge of posting "offensive" messages on social media targeting Union finance minister P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram but released on bail by a court.

    Ravi, owning a plastic packaging material factory, was arrested by local Crime Branch wing of CID Police on a recent complaint by Karti Chidambaram that he had posted 'offensive' message against him on three occasions since 2011 on the micro blogging site Twitter, police said.

    He was arrested under Section 66-A of Information Technology Act after registration of a case on the complaint by Karti Chidambaram lodged with the Union Territory's Inspector General of Police, they said.

    Police produced 45-year old Ravi before Chief Judicial Magistrate Venkatakrishnan and sought 15 days remand. However, the CJM released him since the offence was bailable.

    It was alleged that Ravi had posted messages stating that Karthi Chidambaram had amassed wealth more than that of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

    Man tweets that Chidambaram's son amassed more cash than Vadra, gets arrested - India - DNA
     
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  3. kayal

    kayal Tihar Jail Banned

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    This is outrageous. THis is not a criminal case. If Chidamparam Jr thinks these are lies he should file a libel suit. Government should not be involved in such suits.
     
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  4. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    People better start taking what they say seriously on the internet.
     
  5. jackprince

    jackprince Turning into a frog Senior Member

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    Don't worry, now the I&B ministry has come to the right hand. soon, there will be flurry of regulations and acts forthcoming! soon, people will only use internet for watching porn.
     
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  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is interesting that the comment that Chidambaram's son has amassed a greater wealth than Robert Vadra is a crime under Section 66-A of Information Technology Act.

    Now what could be termed as:

    (a) grossly offensive or has menacing character

    (b) annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill will

    (c) to deceive or to mislead

    I wonder who draft this and who passed it.

    If the above is for the electronic media, then it is very selective.

    Why should it not be applied for everything said in public or in private?

    If it were so allowed, then I think all the politicians should be in jail under such an act.

    I do find Sibal's statement that there has been no loss to the Exchequer a deliberate attempt to mislead and deceive. If it were not so, then Raja would not have been jailed and the Supreme Court would not have taken cognisance. And Sibal's statement has cause annoyance and inconvenience to the Nation to top it all.

    Likewise, Salman Khurshed threaten that Kejiriwal will not be allowed to return from Farrukhabad or instead of ink, blood will flow is surely criminal intimidation!

    Therefore, this Act is bad in law and most draconian!

    What is the difference between India and China now?

    I also find every debate or new on the electronic media i.e. TV most inconvenient and annoying.

    Can this Section be applied?

    I also find Chidambaram's pompous statements over the electronic media most annoying and most of the time misleading and deceiving like this statements on the price rise coming under control when he was the Finance Minister earlier. Can this Act be applied?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/politics-society/43349-man-arrested

    IAC volunteer tweets himself into trouble, faces three years in jail

    Ravi Srinivasan faces up to three years in jail if found guilty
    Does a tweet on reports of corruption, sent out to 16 followers, deserve a possible penalty of three years of imprisonment? The answer seems to be yes, at least according to Congress leader and Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s son Karti, who filed a complaint against small-time Puducherry businessman Ravi Srinivasan, and the Puducherry police which charged Mr. Srinivasan under Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act, 2008.....

    Mr. Srinivasan is however appalled by the reaction his tweet has provoked. “At 5 a.m. on Tuesday [October 30] morning, I was woken up and pulled out of my house by CBCID men and told I was under arrest because of my tweets,” he told The Hindu. “My wife and two daughters were in shock. What wrong have I done?”

    The police told him he was being charged because of an e-mail complaint sent by Mr. Karti Chidambaram to the Inspector General of Police, in which he accused him of malicious intent to defame a good man. He was produced before a judicial magistrate and released on bail that evening.

    Mr. Chidambaram was out of the country on Wednesday, and remained unavailable for comment. But he did post a short statement on his own Twitter account @kartiPC. “Free speech is subject to reasonable restrictions. I have a right to seek constitutional/legal remedies over defamatory/scurrilous tweets,” he said to his 3,655 followers. He did not respond to queries on Twitter.

    Activists campaigning for online freedom of speech say this kind of charge under the IT Act was inevitable, given the ambiguous nature of Section 66-A. Pranesh Prakash, policy director of the Bangalore-based Centre for Internet and Society, says the clause is “overbroad,” “unconstitutional,” and does not satisfy Article 19 (2) of the Constitution which allows for restrictions on freedom of speech and expression.

    He points out that there is no equivalent law for any offline communication, whether in verbal or printed format. “If you write a book that annoys or inconveniences me, even deliberately, I have no civil or criminal recourse. But if you send an e-mail message, or post a tweet, you could face three years in jail,” says Mr. Prakash. “That’s higher than the two-year imprisonment for causing death by negligence.”

    The Hindu : News / National : IAC volunteer tweets himself into trouble, faces three years in jail
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Arvind Kejriwal expose Mukesh Ambani / Reliance

    a section for the offended

    The recent arrest of a industrialist for an alleged defamatory statement made against Karthi Chidambram demonstrates the ease with which arrests can be made following police complaints for online speech. I stress that the result is quite different when such speech is made in print or even on television due to specific provisions which exist under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and apply only to online speech.

    These provisions are more stringent than the ones which exist under general penal provisions as well as laws specifically apply to other mediums.

    Through this blog post I will analyse Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 under which the arrest in Mr. Chidambram’s case has been made.

    Section 66A of the Information Technology Act

    Section 66A is one such provision which has frequently been used by the State as well as the vast class of offended persons who resort to it when remarks are made against them. The problem with Section 66A is that it is so broadly framed that the remarks do not even need to be libelous for it to be attracted. It reads as follows:

    66A. Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc..- Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,-(a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or(b) 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,(c) 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 tthree years and with fine.Explanation: For the purposes of this section, terms “Electronic mail” and “Electronic Mail Message” means a message or information created or transmitted or received on a computer, computer system, computer resource or communication device including attachments in text, image, audio, video and any other electronic record, which may be transmitted with the message.
    Previous use of Section 66A

    Section 66A has had a tremendous effect on curbing the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. This is most evident in its application to dissent in India especially at the behest of state authorities. Recently some instances have come to light where Section 66A has been applied liberally. Some recent incidents where Section 66A has been applied include:

    a) Professor in Kolkata

    Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mohapatra, was arrested in April, 2011 for posting a cartoon on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on the internet. The spoof parodying Satyajit Ray’s detective flick, Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress).The spoof has lines from the film, in which a boy called Mukul is duped by two criminals into believing that they caused a “wicked man” — who is actually a good person — to “vanish”. In the spoof, the “wicked man” who has “vanished” is former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, forced out of office by Banerjee in March.

    Based on this, Ambikesh Mohapatra was charged under under u/s 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000; under Section 500 (defamation); 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman through word, gesture or act) and u/s114 (presence of abettor at the time of commission of offence

    b) Aseem Trivedi and Cartoons Against Corruption

    Aseem Trivedi was arrested in September, 2012 following a complaint filed against the cartoons authored by him which depicted national symbols in cartoons questioning corruption. Though the specific cartoon in the police complaint on which the arrest was made are not specified, his cartoons can still be accessed on his facebook page.

    Based on this Aseem was charged under of section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000; 124A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (sedition); under Prevention of Insults of National Honour Act, 1971.

    c) Heena Bakshi post on Chandigrah Traffic Police Webpage

    After Heena Bakshi’s car was stolen due to alleged harassment she wrote a post on the facebook page of the Chandigarh Traffic Police. The posted contained expletives, though they were not directed on the police directly. The post is extracted below:

    You people kill us with your ‘nakaas’ n check points. Harassing us if we are just driving around at night. But you have no ----ing clue when somebody steals that car from under your eyes. The police started questioning me. If I was making this whole ---- up or if someone actually stole it (sic).
    Heena Bakshi was booked under Section 66A and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

    Problems with 66A

    Offences under Sec. 66A are broad

    The freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right contained under Article 19(1)(a) which is subject to the “reasonable restrictions” contained within Article 19(2). Any restriction through law, which does not fall within the grounds for restricting speech as enumerated within Article 19(2), may be struck down as unconstitutional.

    Towards this, Sec. 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 contains broad phrases which will not fall within the reasonable restrictions as contained under Article 19(2). The phrases include under, Sec. 66A(1) “grossly offensive” and “menacing character”; Sec. 66A(2) “annoyance, inconvenience..”; and Sec. 66A(3), “purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience”.

    These offences are broadly worded and do not contain any further definition by way of any proviso or explanation. In such case, linking them to the limitations under Article 19(2) becomes problematic as it states that, speech can be limited when, “in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, Public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence”

    Offences under Sec. 66A are novel and do not contain any limitations

    The phrases contained under Sec.66A which have been highlighted are novel and do not find definition through the Information Technology Act, 2000. Further, the phrases do not have analogous provisions existing under other criminal laws or have been developed judicially. They in themselves are a wholly novel set of offences which have been broadly prescribed under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

    Due to the absence of any definitions of “grossly offensive” or “menacing character”, the offences under it are without any limitation. The absence of limitations itself is against Article 19(1)(a)/21 and as per the general rule that criminal statutes should be defined certainly and strictly construed. In as much due to the vague phrasing they are ripe for arbitrary application and can be struck down as unconstitutional as being vague.

    Ingredients of offence under Sec. 66A are not specified

    It is pertinent to mention that Sec. 66A does not contain one offence, but contains any possible offence which may be applied to any speech or content uploaded online. In as much Sec. 66A lacks any coherence and structure as to the commission of a single offence. Due to this lack of clarity it does not contain any definitive ingredients of an offence which are specified in its clauses.

    This is most noticeable in Sec. 66A(2), which contains a list of distinct grounds under which the section can be attracted. It is pertinent to mention that most of the grounds are not even specified for instance, “annoyance” or “inconvenience” does not contain any ingredients. Moreover, even for grounds for which analogous criminal offences may exist, there is no reference made to such distinct sections. For instance, it states “criminal intimidation” but does not make reference to Sec. 503 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which contains the offence of criminal intimidation.

    Offence under Sec. 66A results in duplication

    Not only are the offences under 66A not defined and broadly worded but even when the best construction is placed on them they result in a duplication of offences which are contained under existing penal laws which are adequate to check the commission of crimes and also contain legislative and judicially defined limitations. These limitations are in the sense of the ingredients which must be satisfied for the conviction as well as the safeguards and exceptions which can be pleaded.

    For instance, the first case of the Professor in Kolkata where he has been booked under u/s 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000; under Section 500 (defamation); 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman through word, gesture or act). The ingredients for the offence of defamation as well as insulting the modesty of a woman are clearly contained under the Indian Penal Code. Also, Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code which contains the offence of defamation clearly contains exceptions under which an act of parody would clearly qualify. Sec. 66A due to its vague and broad phrasing and the absence of any ingredients and exceptions results in a more difficult burden which is placed on the accused.

    It may also be highlighted that provisions under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 are not limited to acts which done offline or not on an electronic network. Court have repeatedly and purposively interceded the provisions to apply with the advance in technology. Hence, it is evident that Sec. 66A results in duplication of existing penal provisions without any concomitant purpose and only makes the burden on the accused harsher.

    Offence under Sec. 66A is cognizable

    Another anomalous position is presented as the punishment which is prescribed under Sec. 66A is a term of imprisonment for 3 years. This makes it cognizable and non-bailable. Hence, even though the other provisions of penal law may contain a lesser punishment and hence may be non-cognizable and bailable, in which the accussed will have more liberty, with the application of 66A the accussed may fear arrest and the police seeking their custody.

    For instance, the punishment prescribed under Sec. 500 of the IPC which contains the offence of defamation is only for a period of two years. Hence it is non-cognizable and bailable. In such cases when a FIR is registered under it the police does not seek custody. However if the police also applies Sec. 66A to the same FIR then it can arrest the accused. This has happened in the case of the Professor in Kolkatta. Another instance is the case of Mangal Deswal, an Animal welfare officer who has been booked both under Sec. 500 of the IPC and 66A of the Information Technology Act.

    Offence under Sec. 66A increases jail terms for existing offences

    In addition to duplication of existing offence, Sec. 66A increases the jail terms excessively of existing offences. In the case of Heena Bakshi she could have been prosecuted under Sec. 294 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 was most properly applicable as it contains a punishment for obsence songs and gestures. On conviction of an offence under Sec. 294 the punishment which is prescribed is an imprisonment for a period of three years. However, under Sec. 66A under which she is now booked, she can be now imprisoned for a period of 3 years.

    Offence under Sec. 66A applies only to online speech

    Sec. 66A as a section only applies to online speech. This presents a problematic outcome where the same speech may be legal offline but may be illegal online. This has the tendancy to place an unreasonable restraint on a medium without a valid diffrentia or purpose.

    a section for the offended | India Law and Technology Blog
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Arvind Kejriwal expose Mukesh Ambani / Reliance

    Sibal's Law: 'Grossly offensive' and of 'menacing character'

    [​IMG]

    'Kapil Sibal has passed a law that anyone posting anything "offensive" on Twitter can be jailed for three years. That's section 66A of the IT Act amended by United Progressive Alliance [ Images ] II in 2008.'


    'It's a cognisable offence so you have to be arrested and apply for bail. As though you had committed murder!' notes Shivam Vij.


    So an aam aadmi tweeted that the Union finance minister's son Karti P Chidambaram [ Images ] has amassed more wealth than Robert Vadra, and voila, he gets arrested! Chidu Jr tweets: 'Free speech is subject to reasonable restrictions. I have a right to seek constitutional/legal remedies over defamatory/scurrilous tweets.'

    Except that, as far as is known, the businessman whose Web site describes him as 'The Young Politician', has not charged the writer of the 'defamatory' tweet with defamation. Why not?

    Because he'd have to prove defamation in court. Because the person won't be arrested right away. Because Chidu Sr's esteemed colleague Shri Kapil Sibal [ Images ] has passed a law that anyone posting anything 'offensive' on Twitter can be jailed for three years. That's section 66A of the IT Act amended by United Progressive Alliance II in 2008.

    It's a cognisable offence so you have to be arrested and apply for bail. As though you had committed murder!

    If the same allegation was made on wall graffiti or by Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference, nobody would go to jail. But say it on Twitter and the long arm of the law gets a little longer.

    Why is it that Subramanian Swamy can make strong corruption allegations against Karti P Chidambaram, as he did back in April, but Chidu Jr won't put Subramanian Swamy in jail?

    An aam aadmi, however, is not dangerous to politicians. The Tamil Nadu police even wanted to keep the man in jail 'on remand' for 15 days, but a magistrate granted him bail.

    This proves what a lot of us have been arguing: That the real and only intent of Kapil Sibal's draconian Internet laws is to crush dissent, is to tell people that talking about the Congress party's corruption is not allowed.

    Welcome to 1975, or was it 1984?

    While various aspects of growing Internet censorship in India [ Images ] have been commented on, it appears that the most dangerous one of them has not received sufficient attention. That's because it's a draconian aspect of the Information Technology Act which many thought wouldn't be misused. After all we aren't China.

    But alas, our blanket faith in the inherent goodness of the Indian democratic system allows our rulers to trample upon our rights. That is how Communications Minister Kapil Sibal can grin and claim, every now and then, that he is not for censorship and control over the Internet. He can lie through his teeth and we allow him to get away with it.

    Section 66A of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, came into force in 2010. The section makes punishable with three years in jail posting online 'any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character.'

    There's more to it. A non-bailable arrest warrant for you if you upload information that you knew was false, but you posted it only to cause 'annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill will.'

    Yes, annoyance and inconvenience.

    There have already been at least three cases of misuse of this section, before even Kapil Sibal's colleague's son put it to use.

    In April 2011, the West Bengal [ Images ] police arrested Jadavpur University Professor Ambikesh Mohapatra for merely forwarding on e-mail a cartoon making fun of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee [ Images ], using a reference to a Satyajit Ray [ Images ] detective story. It reached Mamta Banerjee and she was offended.

    Sibal's Law was used and the cartoonist was in jail.

    Other charges -- such as defamation and insulting women under the Indian Penal Code -- were not cognisable, so it was only Sibal's Law that treated him like, well, a gross offender.

    Similarly, Congress and Dalit activists in Maharashtra [ Images ] targeted cartoonist Aseem Trivedi for his anti-corruption cartoons that he displayed at the MMRDA grounds in Mumbai [ Images ] in December 2011. Their real intent, it seems, was to show the Anna Hazare movement as being anti-national. They charged him with the cognisable offence of sedition, but also with Sibal's Law -- because the cartoons were also available online.

    His Web site cartoonsagainstcorruption was shut down in less than 24 hours, using another bit of Sibal's Law, the intermediary liability rules. Aseem found himself in jail for a few days in September.

    More recently, a Chandigarh resident Heena Bakshi was angry with the local police for not doing much to recover her stolen car. She posted an angry message on the Facebook page of the Chandigarh police. It said:

    'You people kill us with your 'nakaas' n check points. Harassing us if we are just driving around at night. But you have no f*****g clue when somebody steals that car from under your eyes. The police started questioning me. If I was making this whole **** up or if someone actually stole it.'

    Does she deserve jail for this? Well, Sibal's Law came to the aid of the Chandigarh police. I don't know if Ms Bakshi has found her car yet.

    In all these cases it is clear that the powers-that-be -- politicians and government – are using Sibal's Law to muzzle our voices, to silence dissent, to discourage we the people from expressing out anger against the government.

    If this is not the Emergency mindset, what is it?

    I find Kapil Sibal's eyebrows offensive. I can't put him in jail for that but he can put me in jail for saying as much online. If his law did not apply only to the Internet, but to everything, then that would be fair. In such a fair world I would be able to apply Section 66A against the gross offence his eyebrows cause me.

    Sibal announces every other week censorship is not his intent. He says it as if we are supposed to be grateful to him for that. As if we should burst into screams of joy, 'All hail Indian democracy!' But the above examples show that Internet censorship is very much his intent.

    In other words, he spreads a lie every time he claims censorship is not his government's intent. If he was to say this on the Internet I would be able to apply his own law on him and have him arrested!

    As I said, section 66A includes this as punishable, cognisable offence: '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.'

    The government has appropriated to itself the task of deciding what is reasonable speech and what is unreasonable speech. That task should belong to the courts and the Indian Penal Code is enough for that.

    If the tweet is defamatory, Chidu Jr should file a defamation case. There is no need for any special law for the Internet. The need for special Internet laws is felt by the powerful who realise that criticism and dissent are no longer the monopoly of a pliable, corporate media.

    Those troubled by the aam aadmi's uncontrollable criticism include the corporate media. Senior television journalists like Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghose constantly complain about online trolling and 'hate speech'. They have thus helped build an environment in favour of Sibal's Law -- 'causing annoyance', 'menacing character', 'grossly offensive' are all good descriptors of how the powerful see online dissent.

    These journalists have thus favoured draconian laws while paying lip service to free speech by arguing that while corporate media is covered by legal restrictions online media seems to be a free-for-all.

    But I am also only demanding equality. Mamta Banerjee walked out of a Sagarika Ghose show in Kolkata [ Images ]. She was offended by the questions posed to her. She was also offended by the cartoon a professor forwarded on e-mail.

    While the professor had to go to jail and seek bail and will be doing the rounds of the courts to defend himself, Sagarika Ghose has not been charged with the cognisable offence of 'causing annoyance' or being 'grossly offensive' to Mamata Banerjee.

    If Sibal's Law applies to a professor, why should it not apply to an editor? Is CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghose more equal before the eyes of the law than a professor who imparts education?

    I have a point Sagarika, don't you think so? If my question annoys you, please don't use Sibal's Law against me.

    Shivam Vij

    Kapil Sibal's Law: Tweet and go to jail - Rediff.com India News
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Arvind Kejriwal expose Mukesh Ambani / Reliance

    [​IMG]

    If this is the image of Law and Justice, then such draconian law with any interpretation being par for the course is not fair and instead is selective and against natural justice.

    The same draconian law should apply to all forms for speech and writing.

    It is surprising that the custodians of Justice, the Courts, have not taken suo moto cognisance and struck it down as bad in law!
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    There has to be self control when you make any statements. Everyone is having a field day getting personal, laying allegations. Intended anonymity is used by many to name call and do gali galoch. Seriously people should think twice before they use Internet to express their opinion. Right if free speech should come with some responsibility.

    However I don't agree with the heavy handed response just because it was directed against the son of a union minister who can pull a lot of strings. He could have sued the person for defamation.
     
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  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    That is all very fine about self restraint.

    But then it should apply to all forms of space and media where one gives one's opinion/ comment on issues.

    It cannot be selective and target just the electronic media i.e. the Internet.

    There is no anonymity in actual terms.

    If it were so, then those people who have been booked under this draconian Act would not have been booked.

    This anonymity is another canard and a smokescreen to justify stifling and gagging opinions that are inconvenient for some people and the Govt!

    The Govt tomtoms at each opportunity as to how they gave India the RTI. And yet are working overtime to make this RTI they gave into a total farce.

    A total fraud in openness is being perpetuated on the people.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  13. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Are we living in pakistan??????/:pound::pound::tsk::tsk:
     
  14. mikhail

    mikhail Senior Member Senior Member

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    no buddy but it's fast turning in to a pakistan like situation here under the auspicious guidance of the Congress led UPA Govt.:tsk:
     
  15. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Adventurers like these should also be ready to defend themselves in court.
     
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  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Who is the adventurer?

    Chidu's child?

    What about Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Subramanium Swamy, Salman Khurshed, Kapil Sibal, Kejriwal, Anna Hazare, Bedi?

    They can say what they want and nothing can happen?
     
  17. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Technical correctness is what it all matters when you are inside court room. Law is out there and it is inane. It has fingerprints of Sibal all over it when he drafted amendments to old IT act.

    Question is which method one wants to follow to change it, breaking the law or by challenging the law itself ?

    Opposition should have repelled these proposals without bias. But maybe everyone wants to take advantage of authority, no matter when you are awarded with it.

    My sympathies with frustrated fellow who tweeted but he can't do much unless otherwise equipped with legal brains like Sibal. Opposition should take up the cause to furiously challenge arrest faced by mentioned tweeter.

    btw any idea what was the content of that 'offensive' tweet ?
     
  18. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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  19. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    This provision in law is really a shytless fart.

    How you define 'inflammatory' or 'offensive' ?

    These terms are highly subjective and interpretation is contestable from every possible dimension.
     
  20. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    The Karti Chidamabaram guide to misusing the IT Act

    One cannot hazard a guess as to what union finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidamabaram must have thought when he sent an email to the Puducherry police asking for action against a Twitter user who said that he had “amassed more wealth than Vadra.”

    But the outcome of his complaint certainly couldn’t have been something that Karti would have liked. Of course, the police dragged Twitter user Ravi Srinivasan (@ravi_the_indian) out of his bed early morning on Thursday and showed him how small he was in front of Karti; however, what followed during the day was disastrous for the Congress leader’s son.

    In no time, Ravi Srinivasan became a national hero, and his tweet that offended Karti and compelled the police into action, was retweeted by 400 more people. Some unverified accounts claimed that the retweets were further retweeted and the message had gone viral.

    Has Karti Chidambaram’s action highlighted how the IT Act can be misused? Firstpost

    Certainly, the tweet would have been seen and read by more than 400 people, given the outrage the police action had generated. In fact, some Twitter users even challenged the police to take action against them as well.

    Subramanian Swamy immediately offered Srinivasan legal aid and cartoonist Sudhir Tailang told him on national TV that people were with him. A small time businessman and occasional Twitter user, who had just 16 followers till yesterday – five of whom were his relatives – is now a newsmaker and a minor-celebrity, thanks to Karti and the overzealous Congress government in Puducherry.

    It’s not only Karti who catapulted Ravi into instant stardom, but also the draconian provisions of Section 66 (a) of the IT Act, the amendment brought in by the present UPA government in 2008. Free speech activists and internet experts had raised an alarm four years ago, when the government (read Congress) had pushed through with the amendment, for its unconstitutionality and conflict with the right of free speech guaranteed by Article 19 (1).

    The incident is a classic example of the misuse of the IT Act that activists have been crying foul about – that its provisions would be implemented selectively to intimidate and harass powerless people. These are the keywords that summarise the victimisation of Ravi Srinivasan as well: draconian and selective.

    Let’s first look at the law.

    According to Section 66 A (Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc), any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,

    a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or

    b) 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; or

    c) 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. (highlights are the author’s)

    Look at the highlighted words to see how legally flimsy and subjective some of the grounds for action are. In fact, it is extremely easy to charge one with sending or writing messages that are “offensive, menacing and causing annoyance, inconvenience or insult”. If the police is with you, you can press for three years in jail for the offender.

    If the same thing happens on paper and you pursue it as a crime, people will call you silly.

    These clever insertions are a perfect license for selective misuse. If you are influential, you choose to exercise this license, particularly when your opponent is a smaller. If you are a nobody, the police will ask you to take a walk.

    Information activists say that the police in various cities receive a large number of flimsy complaints, that are perfectly legal under Section 66 (a), but don’t care to file an FIR because they know the complainants are trying to settle scores. However, when the complainant is influential, say the son of a minister, they don’t mind dragging the accused out of bed.

    Now the question is, will Karti file complaints against all the 400 people who retweeted the original tweet? The message is the same and retweeting, even after the police action against the original tweet, should be a more willful offence. If he doesn’t go to police against these 400 people, isn’t it a case of selective (mis)use?

    The issue brings to focus two points: the need to repeal the draconian provisions of the IT act, particularly section 66; and the caution that people close to power need to exercise before brandishing authority to the general public.

    The prevailing mood in the country is middle-class outrage and the anger of the underdogs. By stoking it, politicians and their cronies will only attract more muck against them. No draconian law will be able prevent a civil disobedience movement on the internet as the retweet support to Ravi Srinivasan has demonstrated.

    Challenging and harassing “mango people” to prove a point betrays one’s arrogance and instinct to misuse authority. And it looks cheap too.
     
    jackprince likes this.

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