In a landmark ruling, India’s apex court struck down a law that allowed the government to jail citizens for up to three years for posting “offensive” content on the Internet.
The contentious law, known as section 66A under the 2009 amendment to India’s Information Technology Act, was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
“Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 is struck down in its entirety being violative of Article 19 (1) (a) and not saved under Article 19 (2),” the court said in its judgment, referring to the portion of the Indian constitution that guarantees every citizen the right to free speech and expression.
The court’s decision, in response to a 2012 petition from law student Shreya Singhal, caps a three-year long legal battle and was met with jubilation among proponents of free speech.
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