Shreya Singhal v. Union of India: A Case That Reinvigorated the Country’s Freedom of Speech and Expression. Supreme Court.

Facts of the Case: According to Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, the petitioner filed a writ case in the public interest asking the Supreme Court of India to declare Sections 66A, 69A, and 79 of the Information Technology Act ultra-vires to the Indian Constitution. The language of these rules is broad and unclear, it was argued in the petition. The petitioner also stated that these laws’ intent is to abuse it carelessly and that they are therefore in violation of Articles 14, 19(1)(a), and 21 of the Indian Constitution. Terminologies like frightening, annoying, irritating, inconvenient, blocking, dangerous, and insult are not defined in any statute. It becomes more vulnerable to unwanted mistreatment as a result. In addition to that, the distinction between nation residents and internet users was criticized as being arbitrary and in violation of the right to free expression guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution. It was claimed that the distinction gave police officers the right to detain online users for comments that regular residents of the nation may likewise make. The basic right to equality outlined in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution is thus violated by this categorisation.

Judgment: Due to its violation of Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution and failure to fall within its protection, Section 66 of the IT Act was completely repealed (2). Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring, and Decryption of Information) Regulations, 2009 and Section 69A were found to be intra-vires to the Indian Constitution. Under the condition that Section 79(3)(b) of the IT Act be read down, Section 79 was confirmed to be lawful. The Supreme Court of India also invalidated Section 118(d) of the Kerala Police Act.

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