The Karnataka state government has passed a legislature on July 28th which can potentially make all those who are sharing/have any objectionable content, a Goonda.
‘The Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Slum-grabbers and Video or Audio Pirates, (Amendment) Bill, 2014’. The amendment adds, “Acid attackers, Depradator of Environment, Digital Offenders, Money Launderers and Sexual Predators”, to the title. In common parlance, this law is known as the ‘Goonda Act’.
The most significant difference between an IT act and a goonda act is that if you are arrested under the IT Act, you will be produced before the magistrate within 24 hours (and you get a chance to explain). Goonda Act is much more severe – the review process is long. You need not be produced before a magistrate for 90 days. The duration can be extended to one year.
“The Goonda Act provides for preventive arrest. In the Information Technology Act and The Copyright Act, you have to commit the offence to be arrested. But here, you can be taken into preventive custody even before you commit the said offences. In normal arrests, you can straightaway apply for bail. But under the Goonda Act, you cannot. There is a long process of review and you will be in custody at least till then.
The third impact is, you can have a history sheet started against you by the police. Technically, your slips on WhatsApp will attract the Goonda Act against you.” [Advocate Nagendra Naik/Via]
The worst part is that even if you accept, say an image/file sent by somebody to you – you will be charged with Goonda act.
“Under the Constitution, both copyright and telecommunications are exclusive central subjects. This means that states simply cannot make any law on these subjects.” [Supreme Court advocate KV Dhananjay/Via]
Aside, does this rule also applies to ministers watching porn in the parliament?
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