Slight reprieve for Mehdi

Slight reprieve for Mehdi

 With the Supreme Court on Tuesday striking down Section 66(A) of the Information Technology Act, the City police will drop the charges under the said Section in the case registered against Islamic State Twitter handler Mehdi Masroor Biswas.

Section 66(A) of the IT Act relates to posting offensive messages. “Only Section 66(A) will be dropped from the charges against Mehdi. There are other Sections under which he was booked and those charges will continue,” City Police Commissioner M N Reddi said.

The police had booked Mehdi under Section 39 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for supporting a terror organisation, Section 125 of the IPC for aiding to wage a war against friendly Asiatic power, and Section 66(F) of the Information Technology Act and Cyber Terrorism. The police said a charge sheet against Mehdi would be filed soon.

“The practical effect of the judgement is that any investigation or trial that centres around Section 66(A) will have to be closed down or quashed.

For instance, if a person has been charged under Section 66(A) as well as for destruction of his electronic evidence under Section 201 of the IPC, his trial will have to be closed or quashed, as destruction of evidence charge cannot independently stand if the substantive charge itself is going to be dropped.

 People convicted under that provision will have to be set free by reopening their convictions,” Supreme Court counsel K V Dhananjay said.

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