The TRS government is drawing fire from opposition parties for its move to empower local police in registering cases under Sections 506 and 507 against those who criticise the government. The opposition has mounted a scathing attack that the government was violating the Constitution by taking away the fundamental rights granted to the people.
It feared that the powers under the said sections would be prone to misuse by the party in power and those who criticise the government could be harassed using police force in the name of investigation. Government contention cannot withstand the legal scrutiny and the landmark SC verdict in 2015 which declared ultra vires Section 66A of the Information and Technology Act to support freedom of expression.
The Section 506 in The Indian Penal Code reads as follows: “506. Punishment for criminal intimidation.—Whoever commits, the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprison¬ment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both; If threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, etc.—And if the threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or 1[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or to impute, unchastity to a woman, shall be punished with imprison¬ment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.”
The Section 507 in The Indian Penal Code states that: “507. Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication.—Whoev¬er commits the offence of criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication, or having taken precaution to conceal the name or abode of the person from whom the threat comes, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, in addition to the punishment provided for the offence by the last preceding section.”