Baijayant Jay Panda, Lok Sabha MP from Kendrapara, Odisha (BJD), has filed a Private Member's Bill in the Lok Sabha seeking the amendment of Section 66A of the IT Act. In the draft to the amendment, which Panda has also posted on his official website, he has mentioned that it's important that the rights of Indian citizens to express themselves freely over the internet be zealously protected, and has highlighted the problems with the drafting of the original law. He has pointed out that the terms like ‘grossly offensive’ and‘menacing’ are not only impossible to define but also highly subjective by individual standards, and that same punishment for ‘annoyance’, as well as ‘criminal intimidation, by bundling of disparate terms within the same clause would lead to confusion and misuse. He has also highlighted the discrepancy in punishment terms for same offences committed via the electronic medium and otherwise, and the offences under the law being cognizable. In his bills he's sought repealing of Clauses (a) and (b) of Section 66A and rewording of Clause (c) to provide a potent anti-spam provision. The bill can take months to list in the house. Note that earler this year, P.Rajeeve, a Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala, and a member of the Communist Part of India (Marxist) had moved a motion in the Rajya Sabha for the annulment of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011, but the motion was defeated in the Upper house. The motion was related to the scrapping of the Rules which made intermediaries responsible for content…
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