The Allahabad High Court on September 8 quashed a First Information Report (FIR) lodged under Section 66A of Information Technology (IT) Act against one Nand Lal Yadav for his social media comment on the transparency of the PM Cares Fund collected for relief work amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pointing out that in Shreya Singhal vs Union of India, Section 66A of the I.T. Act had been declared ultra vires, a division bench of Justices Manoj Misra and Anil Kumar-IX said the FIR was, therefore, liable to be quashed.

The bench also expressed its displeasure at the very fact that an FIR had been lodged under a Section which has already been struck down by the top court. It said it could have summoned senior police officials but had refrained from doing so in view of the current pandemic.

The bench, however, sought the personal appearance of the Investigation Officer along with his explanation.

Rajiv Kumar, Inspector PS-Pilua, Etah, to whom the investigation of the case was assigned, had appeared and filed an affidavit stating therein, specifically, that except for an offence punishable under Section 66A of I.T. Act, no other offence had been disclosed against the petitioner.

courtesy leaflet