Kerala now in social media But posting “abusive” or threatening can lead to up to five years in prison. Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Saturday in this regard Government of Kerala Approved a disputed ordinance.
The Kerala Police Act has been amended through the ordinance. Experts fear that this amendment can be used to suppress freedom of expression and press.
New section has been added in Kerala Police Act
On Saturday, the Governor’s office issued a statement saying that they have approved the ordinance adding a new section, 118 (A), to the Kerala Police Act.
This section states that any person who makes or sends information by any means which is derogatory and threatening towards another person can be punished with imprisonment for five years or a fine of Rs 10,000 or both.
Experts’ opinion – Government can abuse the ordinance
Against a similar section 118 (D) of Kerala Police Act in 2015 Supreme court Renowned Kerala lawyer Anoop Kumaran, while reacting to the new section, said, “The government claims that section 118 (A) has been created to protect people, especially women, from misuse of social media. But in fact the administration and The government will use the new law against those who criticize them. ”
They will also go to the High Court against this ordinance.
Kerala government said – Law is necessary to deal with misuse of social media
The Kerala government, on the other hand, says that this type of legislation is needed to deal with the misuse of social media. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Have said that in view of the incidents of targeting people on social media, this ordinance has been brought.
In an official statement last month, the government said that the Kerala High Court had directed it to take steps against hate and attacks on social media.
Government cited lack of adequate legal provision
The Marxist Communist Party (CPM) -led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has also claimed an increase in crime, fake propaganda and inflammatory statements on social media following the onset of the Corona virus epidemic.
The state government says that after the Supreme Court’s repeal of Section 118 (D) of the Kerala Police Act and Section 66 (A) of the Information Technology (IT) Act, there is no provision for dealing with crimes on social media. Was.
Police was unable due to lack of legal provisions – State Government
The state government is of the view that in the absence of legal provisions, the police was unable to deal effectively with crimes committed through social media and that is why this ordinance has now been brought.
However, the government has not given any explanation as to why an emergency medium like ordinance was used. Explain that the ordinance reaches the Governor directly after the approval of the Cabinet and it does not get the approval of the Assembly.