Pavan Duggal Quoted by various National and International Media-
Times of India quoted Pavan Duggal Saying “though welcome, are merely a reactive response. What needs to be changed is the definition of offence under section 66-A”. “Prior approval brings checks against misuse of law,” said another lawyer, but Duggal added “unless the scope of the section is narrowed down, it may still be open to abuse.”
New York Times quoted Pavan Duggal Saying “It leaves everything to the subjective discretion of the law enforcement authorities,”
The Hindu business line quoted Pavan Duggal saying “However, noted cyber lawyer Pavan Duggal said while the intention is noble, the move will not help achieve the desired motive and is like “repairing a leaking roof with a bandage during rain”.
“Only Parliamentary amendments in the IT Act can achieve the desired objective. The issuance of guidelines without amending the IT Act are cosmetic changes to satisfy the backlash from social media,”
IBN Live quoted Pavan Duggal saying “However, noted cyber lawyer Pavan Duggal said while the intention is noble, the move will not help achieve the desired motive and is like “repairing a leaking roof with a bandage during rain”.”Only Parliamentary amendments in the IT Act can achieve the desired objective.”
Rediff quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Cyber law expert Pavan Duggal states that by making the superintendent of police or an officer above register cases under this section does not help the purpose one bit.
“It is like fixing a leaking roof with a band aid,” he says.
“However, the bigger worry is that if these guidelines come into play it would be directly in conflict with Section 78 and Section 80 of the IT Act. Section 78 states that notwithstanding anything in the Code of Criminal Procedure, a police officer in the level of an inspector shall investigate an offence under the IT Act. Further under Section 80 power has been given to conduct a search and arrest without warrant of any person found violating the act.
“Now if the amendment to 66 (A) gives the power to the SP or an officer above him, it would mean that both Sections 78 and 80 need to be amended,” Duggal points out.
“Moreover, these amendments would only mean we are reverting to earlier position. Under the IT Act of 2000 only an officer in the level of DSP or above could probe such cases. Further and amendment in 2008 stated that an officer in the rank of an inspector level could also probe such a case,” he notes.
Duggal points out that merely setting guidelines for investigation is not the need of the hour. “It is very important that Section 66(A) remains in sync with Article 19 (2) of the Indian Constitution which deals with free speech. The problem is that the definition of free speech under Section 66 (A) goes beyond the definition as envisaged in the Indian Constitution. This makes Section 66 (A) ultra vires of the Constitution. Clearly the need of the hour is much more work on the subject and if any change or impact has to be made then, the lawmakers should think of getting 66(A) in sync with Article 19 (2) of the Constitution of India],”
DNA India quoted Pavan Duggal saying “I don’t think this step is enough. In fact, this is contrary to sections 78 and 80 of the act, which say that an officer of the rank of an inspector can not only register a complaint but also search a public place without any warrant,”
Mid Day quoted Pavan Duggal saying “An Act is created only by the parliament and only the parliament can amend it. Fundamental flaws under section 66 A, which already discriminates against online speech, are not being addressed. Section 66 A imposes far more restrictions on free online speech, as compared to the restrictions imposed upon free speech in the actual world by the Constitution. We clearly need to amend the IT Act, and make it more relevant and topical with the needs of technology.”
Abtak news quoted Pavan Duggal saying “66A is a black hole,” “It was drafted in very wide terms and is capable of distinctive interpretations, leaving a lot of discretion in the hands of the police,”
Zee News quoted Pavan Duggal saying “This is high time for the government for the review of the law. The government should amend the IT Act so as to narrow down its provisions as some of the these violate our constitutional right of free speech.”
DW quoted Pavan Duggal saying “Grossly offensive or has menacing character are entirely subjective. Who are the police to decide? It will be a tool of harassment. Unless it is amended, every day there will be many committing offences in public life,”