After FB controversies, govt changes Sec 66(A) of IT Act

Following the uproar over arrests made under Section 66 (A) of the IT Act, the government on Thursday issued guidelines that state approval from an officer of DCP level at rural areas and IG level in metros will have to be sought before registering complaints under the controversial section.

Last week two girls were arrested over a Facebook post criticising the bandh like situation in Mumbai after Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's death while another boy was arrested on Wednesday for posting 'vulgar' comments against MNS chief Raj Thackeray and the people of Maharashtra on the social networking site.

It was later turned out that the comment was posted from a fake account using the 19-yr-old boy’s name.

"... the concerned police officer or police station may not register any complaints unless he has obtained prior approval at the level of an officer not below the DCP rank in urban and rural areas and IG level in metros," sources said.

The government is confident that once these regulations are put in place, such instances will not be repeated, the sources added.

"There are procedural difficulties faced..., we are going to circulate to all state governments' as guidelines with regard to registering any complaints under Section 66 (A)," sources said.

Section 66 A, which is a bailable offence provides for a jail term of up to three years.

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