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Supreme Court quashes sentence, calls law ‘unconstitutional’

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The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of an appeal of the President of the Government Teachers’ Union, Vinod Seegum, contesting his conviction for posting allegedly derogatory comments against the Government on Facebook in 2012.

Seegum was sentenced to three fines of Rs 15,000 each in October 2015.

However, Judges Chan Kan Cheong and Gunesh-Balaghee quashed his conviction and declared section 46 (h) (ii) of the ICT Act to be unconstitutional.

The ruling went viral, many interpreting and linking it to recent controversial amendments to the law allowing anyone to initiate legal actions against one who causes annoyance. An example being a post on Facebook.

“Any person who

(i) uses an information and communication service, including telecommunication service,

(ii) for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to any person; shall commit an offense.”

section 46 (h) (ii) of the ICT Act

However, Defi Media said the office of the Attorney General argued that the ruling related to the “Principle of legality” and not to “freedom of expression.”

The Office of the Attorney General, a position which is assigned by the Government, also reportedly added that the judgment underlines the responsibility of those who express themselves on social media.

“We certainly agree that it is imperative that those who make an abuse of their right to freedom of expression be taken to task by subjecting them to appropriate legislation enacted for that purpose,” said the Office of the Attorney General.

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The information and opinions expressed in our published works are those of authors/sources believed to be reliable. NewsMoris makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information expressed.

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