January 25, 2021

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said that the Centre is working on formulating a new law under the IT Act, on the lines of Section 66A that was struck down recently by the Supreme Court.

Fadnavis was replying to Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe, who asked whether the state will frame a new law in place of Section 66A that would compensate for the repercussions on the Supreme Court order.

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“Under the previous law, an accused could be put behind bars if he made objectionable comments on somebody. After this law was struck down, these miscreants will now get teeth to continue doing this. Will the state government formulate a law in line with the previous law?” Gorhe asked.

Fadnavis said that there is no need for the state government to frame a new law as the central government is already working on it.

“The Centre is working on formulating a new law on the lines of Section 66A that was struck down by the Supreme Court. There was no conviction in the previous law and thus a law is being formulated that will be strong and which will result in convictions,” the chief minister said.

While there were 937 registered cases under the IT Act in 2013, the number rose to 2,696 in 2014, he said.

Replying to a question by Hemant Takle (NCP), who pointed out that merely training 1,000 policemen will not help and that all police stations should be trained in handling cases of cybercrime, Fadnavis said that his suggestion will be considered.

He also said that while 1,000 policemen are being trained to tackle cybercrime cases, Nasscom and DSCI are also imparting training to 4,416 officials and 5,972 low-level officers.

“To tackle cases, we will also think about taking help from outsourced agencies if required,” the CM added.