THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan has signed the controversial Kerala Police Act modification ordinance, which the federal government claimed was meant to stop cyber assaults on women and kids. Various organisations, together with CPI, a member of the ruling LDF authorities, had opposed the modification that covers mass media too.
The cupboard had proposed the 118(A) modification to the Kerala Police Act, 2011 on October 21 and the governor had saved it pending until Friday.
According to a press notice issued by the CM’s workplace on the day the ordinance was permitted, the brand new part says, “anybody who produces content material, publishes or propagates it by way of any means of communication with an intention to threaten, insult or hurt the fame of a person might be punished with an imprisonment of 5 years or a positive of Rs 10,000 or with each”.
The authorities had reasoned that the ordinance was launched amidst rising complaints about cyber bullying towards women and kids by which the accused individuals could not be restrained by the present provisions of legislation. Unlike a defamation case (Sections 499 and 500 of IPC), which wants a petitioner, the proposed modification is a cognisable offence and any individual can lodge a criticism or a police officer himself can suo motu register a case towards the accused. Police can arrest the accused named within the FIR and not using a warrant too.
The opposition UDF and web and rights organisations had alleged that the modification would give extra energy to police and curtail freedom of the press. Rebutting the cost, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan mentioned the modification wouldn’t be used towards any information media.