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Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model A yen for wastage… TELANGANA at last…BUT Banning booze... Delhi is distant He saved millions from starvation... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel The Jan Dhan bonanza Strengthen the base... The Swadeshi Trump Tatas moving out of urea production... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna When online building permits work…. Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Robber barons everywhere S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Tough task taking states together IAS invades NDDB... London, London Narayan GNS - 100: our first subscriber There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! EEC at the National Media Centre GM Technology at last! The why of tax incentives Align crops to agro climate endowments… Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria A professional at the helm of IRDA... Computation of GDP – conundrums continue A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... The rise and rise of KCP The nuclear option Vibrant Gujarat Mersal magnified Solar thermal shines… When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai More heat than light Fuel for thought F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Paytm karo... An inexplicable neglect Where a state respects its litterateurs… PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals He continues the focus on social amelioration Build close rapport with business leaders Building loyalty through the stomach Come elections, come advertisements... Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Should we change the official year? Modi storms Silicon Valley Sweeter prospects for sugar Medical costs hit the roof... Airlines in India: cost and space WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Preserving for the future Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Tribute – UCAL Selvan… A think tank for Chennai No Maha Koottani in TN... A welcome initiative by the judiciary Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Streamlining mandatory third party cover Permanent secretariat for TN GIM More tributes to GR Polls and promises Gas is the way forward Gay abandon in pricing Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Kulandai was a giant Intellectual of rare qualities Nuclear power at the nucleus Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Cement prices continue to rise… TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Adharma of opposition politics Demise of a media baron... Multi-faceted Venkat PC’s preference for professionals Sri Lanka votes for change The Gulf aviation boom The balancing act Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! 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Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu CII projects higher growth… A friendly business group No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai The rise and fall of Annamalai University Russi Mody – a tribute CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Rahman at CIC When small is no larger beautiful.. Telangana in top gear… Things happen by accident and not by design... Mu Sigma – is no more Roaring Ro-Ro facility For whom the bell tolls? Another Indian music maestro at the UN A glass full of corruption Protest masters... The few handicaps... Road development slows down No engine for this car Tribute – M V Murugappan Why land prices zoom in TN? 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Poor quality of university VCs China invests in India L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Delhi is distant… A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Secularism and anti-Hinduism Five star activism stalls development activity TGS- The king storyteller The sea- saw battle continues... When the President was rendered homeless… Make standards certification mandatory... An enemy’s enemy is a friend Auto components surge… Pharma – overdose of copying Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Welcome focus on core competence Quality education through the PPP mode Fortune 500 review An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Tribute Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... 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Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Small units prefers to remain small... Readers' Mail Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital IPL type auction for VCs? Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu ONGC at KG Basin Boy, can you beat these? Valli, they are more marginalised Tatas moving out of urea production... EVM is tamper-proof When Ratan Tata visited SRM
 
Boy, can you beat these?

One, a man gets arrested for displaying cartoons on his Facebook page that mocks corruption in high places. Two, two young girls get arrested for wondering aloud on their FB page why Mumbai should be closed on Thackeray’s funeral. Three, a professor was arrested for circulating a cartoon that lampoons Mamata Banerjee. Four, two Air India employees go behind the bars for sharing jokes about Dr. Manmohan Singh. Five, a worker is jailed for posting comments about Narendra Modi. And most recently a class XI student was jailed for commenting about Azam Khan, a minister in UP.

All these have been courtesy Section 66A of the Information Technology Act. It’s a throwback to Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, 1984 that talked about the Big Brother and an indication of how thin-skinned we have all become. The section gave the police powers to arrest those who post objectionable content online and provides for a three year jail term.

And now the Supreme Court of India has struck down the section as being unconstitutional thumbing down the government’s argument that it would use the section judiciously. This is what happens when you have a history of injudicious use of an enabling section. The Court has curtly ruled that the right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined under the Constitution is inviolable. The Court expressed that language of the section was vague as it did not properly define words like offensive and persistent.

Ruling that there is a difference between discussion, advocacy and incitement, it said that discussion and advocacy, howsoever annoying, have to be allowed.


What Section 66A says:

"Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device

(a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or

(b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device,

(c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine."

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