A letter has been addressed to Chief Justice of Patna HC by Saurav Narayan, a student of Law Centre-1, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi seeking withdrawal of the impugned cicular of the Economic and Cybercrime Department (Bihar Police Headquarter) dated 21.01.2021. The circular states that offensive, indecent and fallacious social media posts against Bihar government, ministers, MPs, MLAs and govt. officials will invite action by Bihar police.
The letter stated that this cicular is unconstitutional as it clearly violates freedom of speech and expression which is enshrined in Article 19(1)(a) of Indian constitution.
The letter further mentions that this circular creates a chilling effect in the minds of citizens while making constructive criticism or offering important comments on the social media posts. Although, the Bihar government follows the principle of “Development with Social Justice” but the Economic and Cyber Crime Department evidently doesn’t reflect it in their actions.
“How can any state develop without allowing citizens to register their Dissent? In fact dissent is the essence of Democracy and not treason.”– the letter
The representation urged for withdrawal of Direct Economic and cybercrime Department (Bihar Police Headquarter)’s circular dated 21.01.2021 which states that action shall be taken against social media posts which are against Bihar government.
About the Circular
The circular was issued by additional director general (ADG) of the economic offences unit (EOU) Nayyar Husnain Khan. Individuals and organisations who post such content will invite “appropriate action” under the law, the circular said.
Khan said the EOU would lodge a first information report, after conducting an inquiry, under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust) , 420 (cheating and dishonesty) and 467 (forgery of valuable security) of the Indian Penal Code, and sections 64 (recovery of compensation), 65 (tampering with computer source documents) and 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.
“Such acts are against the law and come under the category of cybercrime. It is imperative that appropriate action is taken against such acts and persons putting posts having offensive/ abusive tenor. So, it is requested to all that on information of any such offensive posts in the social media, the EOU is informed so that an inquiry is made and necessary action as per law is taken,” the circular read.
Read the letter here:
Read the Circular here: