Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India (AIR 2015 SC 1523)
A two-judge bench of the supreme court ruled on the issue of online speech and intermediary liability in India. Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan, were arrested by the Mumbai police in 2012 for expressing their displeasure at a bandh called in the wake of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackery’s death. The women posted their comments on the Facebook. The question arose as to whether the Mumbai police misused their power by invoking Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000, inter alia contending that it violates the freedom of speech and expression.
Section 66A of the IT Act 2000, defines the punishment for sending “offensive” messages through a computer or any other communication device like a mobile phone or tablet and a conviction of it can fetch a maximum three years of jail and a fine.
This judgment struck down section 66A of the Information Technology Act 2000. It was held that restrictions on online speech are unconstitutional as it violates freedom of speech guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India