Even as Section 66A of the Information and Technology Act was scrapped by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, a section of the law helped put a techie behind bars for harassing a woman colleague.

The Times of India reports, “A software engineer learned this the hard way. Srinath Nambudri of Karnataka will now cool his heels in prison for one year on the charge of harassing a woman colleague after she spurned his advances.”

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to reports, the police had registered a case against Nambudri under various sections of 66A in 2011 for sending offensive emails to people.

“According to police, Nambduri was working as a software engineer at TCS, Siruseri. He was attracted to a colleague, and expressed his love to her. When she spurned his advances, an infuriated Nambudri started sending several obscene and derogatory emails to her from April 2011,” The Times of India reports.

Despite the striking down of Section 66A, cyber culprits can be booked under other laws of the IT Act, IPC and state laws that criminalise harassment. So even though a Chennai court absolved Nambudri from conviction under Section 66A of the IT ACT, he is still  guilty of charges under Section 67 (punishment for publishing or obscene material in electronic form) of the IT Act, 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation, if threat be to cause death or grievous hurt) and 509 (uttering any word or making any gesture to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC, along with Section 4 of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 1998, the TOI report added.

In a landmark verdict on Tuesday (24 March), the Supreme Court had struck down Section 66A, the controversial provision in the cyber law, providing for arrest for posting allegedly “offensive” content on websites saying, it was “unconstitutional” and had a “chilling effect” on freedom of speech and expression.

The apex court had also held that the expressions used in section 66A of the Information and Technology Act, which had been used by various administrations against inconvenient posts in the cyber space, were “completely open-ended and undefined”.

However, the bench had turned down the plea to strike down section 69A and Section 79 of the Act which deal with the procedure and safeguards for blocking sites and exemption from liability of intermediaries in certain cases respectively.

With PTI inputs

View the original here: 

Section 66A scrapped but techie put behind bars thanks to Sec 67 of same IT ACT