Section 66A and other legal zombies
IFF Research Series, Working Paper No. 2, November 2018
Despite the striking down of Sec 66A by the Supreme Court of India in March 2015, it continues to be in use by police across the country. In this important report, Abhinav Sekhri & Apar Gupta, research and discuss how this ‘legal zombie’ refuses to die.
“Right from the police station, to trial courts, and all the way to High Courts, one finds that Section 66-A is still in use despite it being denied a place on the statute book”, their report says as they ‘argue that the continued use is a product of communication failures between the branches of State.’ As their report states:
‘The application of unconstitutional provisions by police and courts brings about various undesirable consequences. It results in an illegal and unconscionable deprivation of liberty, incurs wasteful costs on the public exchequer, and clogs up a criminal justice system besieged with lack of policing resources and case pendency. Preventing these outcomes lends a sense of urgency to this paper. We hope that our analysis contributes to reform not only on Section 66-A and the institutional setting of the criminal process, but the larger setting of the Indian legal system as a whole.’
Access the full report here