India more civilised than NZ? Supreme court strikes down anti-free speech legislation

The ABC reports that India’s top court has struck down a controversial law that made posting “offensive” comments online punishable by jail, a rare victory for free speech campaigners in a country criticised for a series of recent bans.

The Supreme Court said the 2009 amendment to the Information Technology Act known as section 66A was an unconstitutional curb on freedom of speech.

The Supreme Court had been asked to examine the legality of the amendment, which makes sending information of “grossly offensive or menacing character” punishable by up to three years in jail.

Law student Shreya Singhal, who filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the amendment welcomed Tuesday’s ruling as a “big victory”.

“The internet is so far-reaching and so many people use it that it is very important for us to protect this right today, now,” she said. “Governments have their own political agenda. A law has to be for the people.”

Amy Adams should take note and reflect upon the fact that what she and her law Commission toadies are doing in NZ with National’s Harmful Digital Communications bill would not make the grade in India. Don’t let the uneducated socialist thugs of the Law Commission drag this country down Amy.

8 thoughts on “India more civilised than NZ? Supreme court strikes down anti-free speech legislation

  1. So what are we going to have a list of things you can and cannot say on the basis that somebody somewhere may or may not be offended

    What happens if your offended that somebody else is offended..

    What would the burden of proof be. Sound like more work for overpaid lawyers if you ask me.

    Just tell them to HTFU.

    You wont shut the freedom of speech only drive it underground, of offshore.


    • Mr_Blobby, I had a quick glimpse of the HDC amendments, and it looks like you won’t be able to say anything that can be seen as discriminatory. So if you say Pakeha are big earners than Pacific Islanders, that will be called discrimination and hate speech. I know in the amendments it said something about race, religion, gender, etc as things you can’t speak out against. That if someone is offended by it, you’ll be in trouble.


      • Thin end of the wedge.

        But in reality the wedge is in further than most people realize, until it is to late.

        We may have to resort to posting on offshore websites.


        • Yes Mr_Blobby, everyday we lose more and more of our liberties. I’m not entirely sure what liberties we have left. If this bill passes, I’m not entirely sure what we will be able to say. But the worst part is, if we pass this, everybody else will be expected to follow suit. We proudly boast that we are leaders of social change. So we are in grave danger if this passes.


  2. Posting in offshore web sites won’t be an option – local ISPs will have to do the court’s bidding and you’ll find your internet access cut off.


  3. Surprisingly the only avenue to stopping this at the moment in NZ seems to be Peter Dunne. However I suspect he’s only using his dissent as a means to trade off on something else.


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