|BANGALORE: The high court on Wednesday ordered notice to the state and central governments on a PIL relating to section 66A of the Information Technology Act.A division bench headed by acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao ordered notices to social networking sites Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter in response to the petition filed by law graduates Rohan Bhammar and Varun Nair.
The petitioners have claimed that offence under Section 66A of Information Techology Act, 2000, is a non-cognizable offence and that a designated police officer cannot arrest an accused upon receipt of a complaint.
The petitioners have sought for direction to frame rules under the IT Act laying down guidelines/procedures in terms of Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code (taking the complaint by way of a sworn statement of the complainant) after getting feedback from general public to deal with complaints of defamation or criminal intimidation via social networking sites or email.
The petitioners claimed that around 121 crore persons use social networking sites, majority of them youngsters, who could be subject to criminal trial for harmless private communication, affecting their right to freedom of speech and right to privacy.
The petitioners are also seeking to constitute a special committee to hold hearings on such complaints adding that police need a comprehensive training to deal with such cases. The petitioners have cited several recent incidents, including police arresting a person for commenting against the son of a Union minister.
Notice to UGC, AICTE
A division bench headed by acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao has ordered notice to state and central government, the UGC, AICTE and VTU on a PIL seeking action against Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM).
Former students of two-year MBA course of the institute said in their petition that IIPM has no legal clarity as an educational institution and the authorities should restrain them from conferring any degrees to any students. The petitioners also sought suitable compensation from IIPM for the loss of their valuable academic years at the Institute.
Lokayukta appointment process commences
The state government on Wednesday told the high court that process for appointing a new Lokayukta has commenced as per section 3 (2)(a) of Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984. Advocate general S Vijay Shankar placed a memo to this effect before the division bench headed by acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao.
The bench took up the memo on record. The court also refused to set any time frame for appointment of Lokayukta. Advocate general strongly opposed the plea put forward by the petitioner for setting a time frame saying that the personalities involved are all constitutional functionaries.
Directive to LDA
A division bench headed by acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao has asked the Lake Development Authority (LDA) to submit a technical report on the encroachment of Pantharapalya lake, off Mysore Road.
Several residents of the area filed a PIL complaining that the lake bed has been encroached upon. The court was informed that the lake bed area has shrunk to about one acre due to the encroachments and the proposal to build houses under Ashraya scheme will virtually finish off the lake.
Justice HN Nagamohan Das on Wednesday dismissed a criminal petition filed by S Muniraju, a BJP legislator, challenging proceedings against him before the special Lokayukta court. Muniraju, legislator from Dasarahalli constituency, had challenged the special Lokayukta court’s order in referring the complaint filed against him to the Lokayukta police for conducting investigation.
He has claimed that the matter pertaining to 1.15 acres of land in Kareguddadahalli was settled long ago and it relates to a period when he was not a legislator.
Notice to govt on plea against Pachau
The Central Administrative Tribunal, Bangalore bench, has ordered notice to the state and central governments on an application filed by BE Umapathy (DGP – research and restructuring, Dharwad) challenging the appointment of Lalrokhuma Pachau as DG& IG (HOPF).
The applicant claims that while selecting Pachau, the entire service records were not considered and it was restricted to past five year’s service. The case will be heard on February 28.