The ongoing year has been saddening and have arisen this fear of living in a country I always appreciated for the fundamental rights we as a citizens have been given under the Constitution of this so called great country. I have always been one of the foremost promoter of India knowing that what we have as a citizen of this nation is ahead of any other country in the world. The freedom of speech of all has been the most important right I have always been proud of and relished so far. Its this right that has so far made me express myself and not feel strangled in a free nation. Being an active member of the system as a lawyer I have always believed our laws are made in such a way that doesn’t just makes us free people but also gives us the sense and feel of freedom and not feel feared and scared.
When we chose non violence it was the resilience and freedom of speech that brought us the independence. The fundamental right of freedom of speech is not something they inculcated today in our constitution but it has been from the very first day. Back in the 50’s also it was thought that it is the freedom of speech which will make us a nation of above others and make us strong to accept criticism and evolve from it.
I got a message today from Nabeel (@softykid) saying that he was scared he might be also a victim one day as he is on the more. This got me to introspect the past year and its shocking to rewind back to incidents when a businessman is arrested for a tweet on a politician’s son or a man being arrested for taking a picture of a minister and young girls being arrested for expressing their views. Where are we heading to??? Is this acceptable?
Most of these recent incidents had been contentious for the reason of an amendment to the IT Act wherein Section 66A was inserted. On a plain reading of Section 66A it sounds strangely drafted. Things have been left for the interpretation of the complainant and weirdly our enforcement agencies are not competent enough to interpret it in consonance with Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution. So if things are taken on the wordings of the Section 66A which says a mail message sent for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience to a person can lead to an imprisonment of upto 3 years with fine, how is the annoyance and inconvenience to be measured? If someone calls me a liar as I am a lawyer, it can be annoying for me, but then does my annoyance means a person be sent behind bars and ripped off his liberty and freedom? The interpretation of a Section has to be in consonance with the Constitution and nowhere violative of the basic rights and freedom provided to us under the Constitution.
I believe if the interpretation of a Section cant be done accurately and in the spirit, it is for our legislature to bring clarity to it. For me Section 66A is beyond the spirit of the Constitution and it will be a fit case for the courts to struck it down. I was reading the letter written by Justice Katju to the CM of Maharashtra and I totally agree with him that we are living in an arbitrary State where the entire system, be it the government or the opponent are hand in hand. I, at the end feel helpless that we are reaching a state of anarchy and justified violence and power. As always I still believe that we are the biggest fools living in this paradise who actually give power to these people who try to rule us in a free country. This way the time isn’t far when I will feel weak to call myself an Indian.