In the latest act of curtailing freedom of expression, a staff member of the Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL), KL Ramesh, was fired from his job after he made critical remarks against the incumbent Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan in the comment section of his Facebook post.
As per reports, the development came after he criticised the Kerala CM and the state government in connection to the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Padmanabhaswamy Temple on November 20. KIAL took cognisance of the matter after several ‘complaints’ were raised against his Facebook post. The authorities had ordered an inquiry and issued him a show-cause notice over the post which was allegedly seen as a violation of disciplinary norms. It is notable here that CM Pinarayi Vijayan is also the chairman of the KIAL.
KIAL was not ‘satisfied’ with his explanation and Managing Director V Thulasidas issued a termination letter to Ramesh, who worked as the assistant manager of the Fire and Rescue Wing of the airport.
Ramesh alleges vendetta by KIAL authorities
Ramesh said, “I had told the committee that I am a Hindu and from Thiruvananthapuram and the post in question was not in connection to KIAL and as a citizen have the right to express my views.” However, he believes that his termination came at the backdrop of the several irregularities at the Kannur Airport, which were brought to the notice of the authorities by him. Reportedly, Ramesh had removed his Facebook post and tendered an apology but it was of no avail. The inquiry committee nevertheless proceeded with the termination.
SC verdict on Travancore Royal family over Padmanabhaswamy temple row
The Supreme Court of India has ruled against the Kerala government’s attempt to bring the historic Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram under its control. The apex court overturned the 2011 judgment of Kerala High Court that granted the power to the state government to take control of the temple, its management and assets.
The verdict, passed by a 2-member bench of Justices Indu Malhotra and UU Lalit, stated that the death of a king of the Travancore family shall not affect the rights of the family and the temple, perceived to be the world’s richest, will continue to be managed by the family.
Communist govt in Kerala passes ordinance to arrest ‘critics’
The communist-led Kerala state government had brought the controversial amendment to the Kerala Police Act by adding Section 118-A to the law that was originally passed in 2011.
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”.