This statement was originally published on pen-international.org on 27 March 2015.
By Evan Rankin and Amy Tang
The Supreme Court of India’s landmark decision on Tuesday [24 March 2015] signals a move towards greater protection of free expression in the world’s largest democracy. But there is still much to do.
India’s highest court struck down section 66A of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 (“IT Act”), the vaguely worded and overbroad provision criminalizing the transmission over the internet of content that could be perceived as “grossly offensive” or has a “menacing character” or causes “annoyance,” “inconvenience,” or “insult”; the list goes on. The wording of the provision was so vague and over-broad that the Court noted, “Section 66A is cast so widely that virtually any opinion on any subject would be covered by it.”