Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on PIL against notification under IT Act

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Central government on PIL which questioned the notification authorising 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt any computer system.

What was the notification?

Under the notification, the central government had empowered 10 agencies, Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (for Income Tax Department), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in service areas of J-K, North East and Assam) and Delhi Police commissioner to intercept, monitor and decrypt any computer system.

PIL challenges the Notification

The notification is challenged on the following grounds:

  • The notification was illegal, unconstitutional and ultra vires to the law.
  • The notification gives State the right to access every communication, computer and mobile and to use it to protect the political interest and object of the present executive political party.
  • The notification was an attempt to create a surveillance state.

The PIL also sought to prohibit the agencies from initiating any criminal proceedings, enquiry or investigation against anybody under the provisions of the IT Act based on the notification. The Supreme Court issuing a notice to the central government and has asked to respond in six weeks.

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