Authoritarian India? two Airline employees arrested for criticizing Supreme court order onlineNovember 26, 2012 16:28
India has seen a wave of arrests against people who allegedly misusing their right to expression on internet. First the two Pahalghar girls on Bal Thackeray comment then son of P Chidambaram Karti and now two Air India employees got arrested under the same IT Act for criticising Supreme Court orders.
KVJ Rao and Mayank Sharma were arrested for allegedly posting derogatory remarks against the Supreme Court in a closed online group for Air India employees after a trade union leader of the national airline filed a case against them. Justifying his action Air India union leader Sagar Karnik said, "I first approached the websites and reported abuse and sought for removal of the posts, but the websites said I will have to approach the local police for the same."
However, these cases have unfolded few key questions every netizen wants to be answered by the authorities, for example:
- When does an online comment amount to just civil defamation, and when does it become false or offensive message as defined by section 66 A of the IT act?
- IT law does not clearly define 'offensive' or 'menacing' messages, so what guidelines can the police use to apply apply these sections?
- Is the IT law increasingly being used to settle personal scores? Who is the real authority in these cases? People who represent the democratic constitution of India or people who are trying to drive India towards an authoritarian form ?
Time to get these answers..Better late than never..!