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Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Align crops to agro climate endowments… More tributes to GR Sri Lanka votes for change This scant respect for Law London, London Narayan Revive development banks... A welcome initiative by the judiciary Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... The rise and fall of Annamalai University Haul over the coal Make standards certification mandatory... Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria IPL type auction for VCs? Editor's Notes Shanti and Sadhana through Music A more liberated TN… A glass full of corruption Shipping woes of Chennai companies The power-full Hindujas CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? A yen for wastage… An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Secularism and anti-Hinduism The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Boy, can you beat these? He continues the focus on social amelioration Quality education through the PPP mode Airlines in India: cost and space WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated The star of Spencers is no more Tribute – M V Murugappan Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Modi and the lady The Jan Dhan bonanza Music happens Noble nonagenarians... When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt West Bengal: mindless malignancy The why of tax incentives Delhi returns to BJP Convulsions in The Hindu Why this malaise in medical education? Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V An inexplicable neglect Five star activism stalls development activity Intellectual of rare qualities Tribute – UCAL Selvan… A friendly business group L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Banning booze... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Multi-faceted Venkat TELANGANA at last…BUT Should we change the official year? Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Russi Mody – a tribute A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… When small is no larger beautiful.. EEC at the National Media Centre Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Adharma of opposition politics Another Indian music maestro at the UN Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Mersal magnified L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Modi storms Silicon Valley ONGC at KG Basin Moily’s bold thrust Nuclear power at the nucleus Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Plummeting profits of PSBs Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... A professional at the helm of IRDA... Welcome focus on core competence No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu How Air-India loses customs... 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Auto components surge… GM Technology at last! CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Build close rapport with business leaders Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Funding the un-funded Revving up the manufacturing sector Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Sweet news for TN sugar mills No engine for this car Fortune for Indian Airlines Towards speedy justice More heat than light B H Kothari - a tribute Maximising the micro pricing … Paytm karo... Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Road development slows down EVM is tamper-proof Cutting the nose to spite the face Waning interest in public discussions… Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Don’t seem to feel the pulse… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal When the President was rendered homeless… Contrarian cousins Put expensive assets created to use... Silver Years of Madras Musings Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Quality silica from Neyveli The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Computation of GDP – conundrums continue When online building permits work…. Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Things happen by accident and not by design... SoA @ 80 Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! The sea- saw battle continues... He saved millions from starvation... No Maha Koottani in TN... There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Rahman at CIC IPL - no surprise this scam New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... 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MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Tough task taking states together A think tank for Chennai Pharma – overdose of copying Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Solar, solar everywhere … A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… CII projects higher growth… Making ‘my Amaravati’... Telangana in top gear… Return to king coal for urea... Engineering seats go abegging Discoms deserve better… Where a state respects its litterateurs… The Gulf aviation boom Why land prices zoom in TN? Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Muffled voices for merit… Valli, they are more marginalised Editor's Says Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Breaththrough in malaria control Recognition to role of NBFCs.... China invests in India The balancing act F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Tax agriculture 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 The Swadeshi Trump Solar thermal shines… S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Kinetic Karnataka The few handicaps... Polls and promises Fortune 500 review Preserving for the future Come elections, come advertisements... Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Sweeter prospects for sugar TIAM turns a full cycle Welcome GST Tatas moving out of urea production... Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna IAS invades NDDB... More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Lalu’s envy, India’s pride GNS - 100: our first subscriber Strengthen the base... Small units prefers to remain small...
 
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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