Telangana government makes ‘harsh words’ cognisable offence, opposition claims its attempt to curb freedom of expression

The Telangana government has declared that crimes falling under sections 506 and 507 of the Indian Penal Code will now be treated as cognisable offences that can be registered without the permission of the Court. Section 506 is concerned with the criminal intimidation of a person while section 507 deals with criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication.

The spokesperson for the CMO stated, “It has been left to the discretion of the state whether or not to take permission of the court before arresting and prosecuting a person under the said sections. So, after careful examination, the state government has decided to declare the sections as cognisable without having to take the permission of the courts,” while confirming that K Chandrasekhar Rao has given his nod to the move.

Opposition parties believe the law will be used by the government to silence valid criticism of its policies and used as a political tool to intimidate the opposition. Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Dasoju Sravan remarked that it was a blatant attempt at curbing the freedom of expression of citizens. He said, “There is nothing wrong in taking action if the posts or comments are personal, obscene and abusive. One can always file a defamation suit in such cases. But by seeking to arrest a person and prosecuting him without court permission on the pretext that he made offensive comments is nothing but infringing upon the fundamental rights of the person. G. Kishan Reddy, BJP leader in Assembly, said that the Chief Minister himself should be the first person to suffer the consequences of the changes in the law because he was the first person to use harsh language in public life.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) chairman Prof M Kodandaram remarked, “Using of harsh words is a subjective term. There is no specific explanation as to what a harsh word is. The government and the police can interpret the term in any manner. For example, if a person calls KCR a tyrant or a monarch, he may get offended and throw that person behind bars invoking these two sections.”

State governments in the past have regularly used the police and the law department to harass critics and opposition parties. Mamata Banerjee has a particularly infamous reputation. A professor at the Jadavpur University was arrested for sharing anti-Mamata cartoons on Facebook and criticizing the policies of the Trinamool government. The same government filed an FIR against Zee News for its coverage of the Dhulagar riots. In Uttar Pradesh, the Police once arrested a class 11 student for sharing an ‘objectionable image’ of Azam Khan on Facebook. People obviously remember the draconian section 66A which was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2015 that had become a tool at the hands of governments to harass its critics.

Given the history of the Indian Republic, where governments have displayed autocratic tendencies several times in the past in its treatment of critics, the most notable being the emergency under Indira Gandhi, it is natural that opposition parties and activists are deeply concerned by the changes made to the sections 506 and 507 by the Telangana government as they fear persecution by government authorities as an act of political vendetta. TJAC chairman M Kodandaram has stated that the TJAC would move the High Court over the issue.


Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Most read articles recently

NDTV suspends Deputy News Editor for celebrating Pulwama terror attack, may take further action

NDTV Deputy News Editor Nidhi Sethi suspended by the channel for her Facebook comment celebrating the Pulwama attack

Congress supporting abusive troll claims Pulwama was an inside job by India

Sanjukta Basu is a very vocal Modi-hater and a bigot masquerading as a liberal feminist.

“By the time this video reaches you, I will be in heaven”, declared JeM terrorist in video before Pulwama suicide attack

The terrorist is seen urging the people of North, Central, South Kashmir and Jammu to come together in the fight against India.

Congress IT Cell head shares NDTV’s half truth to discredit Vande Bharat Express, insensitively drags Pulwama terror attack

In a rush to discredit the success of India's fastest train 'Vande Bharat Express', Congress' Divya Spandana not only resorted to propagating fake news but also went on to pass some insensitive statements regarding the recent Pulwama terror attack
Image Source: twitter

Vajpayee govt was forced to release Masood Azhar because of hysterical media coverage, former AAP leader Ashutosh says

The veteran journalist who is currently running his own news portal in Hindi revealed that media coverage of the hijack incident created undue pressure on the central government and they had to accept the demands of the hijackers, which included the release of three terrorists.

No, Times of India, Islamist terrorists harboured and nurtured by Pakistan, not ‘local youth’ killed over 40 soldiers

Times of India not only came out with a horrible headline, but there were also other issues with the reportage as well

What to do with these termites? Does ‘ha-ha’ reaction to terror attacks have a religion?

For some people, just the Islamic names in these 'Allah hu Akbar' brand suicide bombers is enough to empathise with the terrorists

“He is not letting people wear helmets,” Puducherry Lt Governor’s exasperation at CM protesting against road safety rules

CM Narayanswamy has been protesting against Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for her tough stance on the use of helmets.

Soft approach has failed in Kashmir, now a decisive military action is need of the hour

India needs a strong political will backed by decisive military action in Kashmir.

Pulwama terror attack is a violent expression of Hinduphobia

Like crimes that are related to race, gender or caste, Hinduphobic hate crime does not take place in a vacuum.

Latest articles

Connect with us

136,221FansLike
109,307FollowersFollow
22,831SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these