Sunday, November 29, 2020
Home News Reports Communist govt in Kerala passes ordinance that can get anyone arrested for criticism...

Communist govt in Kerala passes ordinance that can get anyone arrested for criticism of anyone on any media platform: Read details

The opposition against the Section 118-A in the Kerala Police Act comes from the fact that it gives unbridled powers for the law enforcement agencies to curtail the freedom of the press and arrested anybody on the charges of exploiting social media to target individuals, especially women and children.

Even as protests against the controversial section 118-A of the Kerala Police Act continue to mount, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has signed an ordinance that gives arbitrary powers to police to arrest people for expressing their opinion not just on social media but also on mainstream media.

According to the reports, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Friday signed an ordinance amending the Kerala Police Act that gives the law enforcement more teeth to prosecute persons in the name of fighting the increasing incidents of crimes perpetrated through social media.

Reportedly, the provisions in the law cover not only social media but the mass media too, including print and visual media, and even posters and billboards.

The opposition against the Section 118-A in the Kerala Police Act comes from the fact that it gives unbridled powers for the law enforcement agencies to curtail the freedom of the press and arrest anybody on the charges of exploiting social media to target individuals, especially women and children.

The new section empowers the police to act against media and register cases on the event of detection of a cognisable offence under the relevant section. The amendment proposes five years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 for those convicted of producing, publishing or disseminating derogatory content through any means of communication to intimidate, insult or defame any person through social media.

The newly introduced provision says, “anyone who produces content, publishes or propagates it through any means of communication with an intention to threaten, insult or harm the reputation of an individual will be punished with an imprisonment of five years or a fine of Rs 10,000 or with both”. 

The Kerala state government, which often hailed as the most liberal state government in the country by left-liberals, had brought the controversial amendment to the Kerala Police Act by adding Section 118-A to the law that was originally passed in 2011.

However, the amendment is extremely vague and provides massive discretion to the law enforcement agencies to pick up anyone on the pretext of posting ‘derogatory’ or ‘insulting’ content on social media platforms against individuals.

Opposition to the amendments within the LDF coalition

Addition to the opposition to the proposed amendment to the Kerala Police Act from various opposition parties, civil society groups, human rights activists, the Communist Party of India (CPI), one of the principal coalition partners of the ruling LDF coalition in Kerala has expressed its concerns against the law saying that it could reverse the course on media freedom, muzzle free speech and jeopardise civil liberties.

In the party’s newspaper – Janayugam, the CPI has expressed serious concerns against the proposed executive order. Reportedly, the party felt that civil society at large and media, in particular, viewed the proposal with scepticism.

The CPI felt that the government should not ignore the apprehension that the move to bestow the police with the power to examine published content critically and register cases even in the absence of a specific complaint was patently anti-democratic.

Kerala defends amendment to Kerala Police Act

Defending the ordinance, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Communist government had claimed that since cyber attacks are a major threat to private life, it has been decided to amend the Police Act as the existing legal provisions were inadequate to fight such crimes. It had said that the proposed amendment was brought keeping in mind the rising crime graph, fake propaganda and hate speech on social media since the outbreak of a pandemic.

The Kerala government said while the Supreme Court had repealed section 66-A of the IT Act and Section 118 (d) of the Kerala Police Act on the grounds that these were against freedom of expression, the Centre has not introduced any other legal framework. The Kerala police, in such a scenario, are unable to deal effectively with crimes committed through social media, the government had said.

Reportedly, the Kerala government decided to bring amendment after a group of women ‘activists’ had attacked a Youtuber for allegedly making abusive and derogatory comments against them. The government claimed that there was a need for an effective law to tackle online vilification and abuse of individuals.

It is pertinent to note that the Kerala government had earlier passed a similar amendment to the act and had introduced Section 118 (d) into the law. According to Section 118(d) of the Act, any person who causes annoyance to any person in an indecent manner by statements or verbal or comments or telephone calls or calls of any type or by chasing or sending messages or emails by any means shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees or with both.

However, in 2015, the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal judgment had held that Section 118(d) violated Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Actor Deep Sandhu disappoints Barkha Dutt after she provides platform to ‘distance himself’ from OpIndia report that he supports Khalistan

Barkha Dutt lamented after actor Deep Sidhu refused to condemn Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and to call him terrorist on her YouTube channel

Indo-Canadian politician Gurratan Singh, brother of Khalistani supporter Jagmeet Singh, scare-mongers about farm bills

In a shoddy attempt to internationalise India's internal matter, an Indo-Canadian politician, Gurratan Singh, raked up the ongoing 'farmers' protest in Canada

Who is the man in farmer protest video, lying about ‘govt snatching farmland’: Profile of an actor and Khalistan supporter

Khalistan supporter Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu has been seen spreading the lie that govt will snatch farmer's land using the new farm laws

Door-to-door campaign luring Sikhs, grant of $1 million to protesting farmers, pro-Khalistan slogans now: SFJ tentacles analysed

The farmer protest started in September, and in that month itself, Khalistan org SFJ had started spreading its tentacles

Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy, Vikram Chandra, others barred from capital market for insider trading of NDTV shares: Read details

NDTV Promoters & senior executives had done insider trading by trading in NDTV shares while holding unpublished price sensitive information

Financial assistance for marriage, free cars, development of mosques and dargahs: Telangana spends Rs 5,600 cr in 6 yrs on ‘minorities’

Telangana government in the state has so far spent a whopping Rs 5,639.44 crore in the last 6 years for sake of minority appeasement

Recently Popular

Wife of late Wajid Khan writes on her sufferings in an inter-faith marriage, says anti-conversion law should be nationalised

Wife of late music composer Wajid Khan wrote how her husband and his family had been forcing her to convert to Islam after their marriage

Who is the man in farmer protest video, lying about ‘govt snatching farmland’: Profile of an actor and Khalistan supporter

Khalistan supporter Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu has been seen spreading the lie that govt will snatch farmer's land using the new farm laws

Actor Deep Sandhu disappoints Barkha Dutt after she provides platform to ‘distance himself’ from OpIndia report that he supports Khalistan

Barkha Dutt lamented after actor Deep Sidhu refused to condemn Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and to call him terrorist on her YouTube channel

Odisha: Largest ever vigilance raid in state unearths massive wealth gathered by IFS officer, fancy cars, ultra-luxurious lifestyle

Pathak's family reportedly owns a lavish apartment in Bhubaneswar with Italian marble flooring, ivory furnitures and other luxuries. The son is engaged to an MLA's daughter.

The truth about the viral picture, shared by Rahul Gandhi, where police can be seen ‘beating up’ an old farmer

Congress leaders share cunningly edited version of a video to allege brute force is being used by security officials to quell the 'farmer' protest

Netizens call to Boycott tax evasion accused Amrapali Jewels after it pitches Swara Bhasker as its brand ambassador, Amrapali deletes tweet

The official Twitter account of Amrapali Jewels had posted a tweet with a picture of actor Swara Bhasker endorsing its products

Actor Deep Sandhu disappoints Barkha Dutt after she provides platform to ‘distance himself’ from OpIndia report that he supports Khalistan

Barkha Dutt lamented after actor Deep Sidhu refused to condemn Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and to call him terrorist on her YouTube channel

Attorney General declines to allow contempt proceedings against Prashant Bhushan as he has already apologised, slams him for comments against CJI

Prashant Bhushan had apologised for linking facilities given to CJI by Madhya Pradesh govt with MLA disqualification case at the SC

Hindu Munnani warns of Islamist terror attack in Tamil Nadu after Coast Guard find drugs and arms in a Sri Lankan vessel linked to...

A couple of days ago, Coastal Guard had intercepted a Pakistan linked vessel smuggling drugs and arms into Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka

Amidst warnings from New Zealand cricket board for violating isolation protocol, 7th Pakistani cricketer diagnosed with Coronavirus

The Pakistani cricketers have been confined to a hotel in Christchurch and the team been barred from further training.

Yogi Adityanath campaigns for BJP in Hyderabad for upcoming municipal polls, holds a roadshow in Malkajgiri area

It may be recalled that after PM Modi, Yogi Adityanath was the most sought after campaigner for the Bihar elections

Wife of late Wajid Khan writes on her sufferings in an inter-faith marriage, says anti-conversion law should be nationalised

Wife of late music composer Wajid Khan wrote how her husband and his family had been forcing her to convert to Islam after their marriage

Chhattisgarh: Five including two women arrested after woman abducted, raped, and sold to multiple buyers in Delhi and Haryana

The woman was offered a drink laced with sedatives before her abduction and trafficking to Delhi and Haryana

After Hindu refugees booed anti-CAA ‘activist’ Medha Patkar, she joins farmer protests in Punjab for legitimacy

Medha Patkar claimed that the farmers agitation was in fact against the 'divide' between the corporates and the toiling masses

Odisha: IFS officer Abhay Pathak who had taken 20 chartered flights during lockdown arrested in disproportionate asset case, suspended

During the raid at house of Abhay Pathak, the Vigilance department had found evidence of cash deposits of Rs 9.4 crore in bank accounts

Terror in the name of God: Are Islamic terrorists ‘cowards’, or are we cowards for not analysing Islam honestly?

The biggest problem in today’s world is terrorism, many political leaders acknowledge, however, they do water down the conversation around it

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
490,330FollowersFollow
20,200SubscribersSubscribe