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Kerala's new law: 5-year jail term or fine of Rs 10,000 for offensive post

Kerala Governor Arif Khan has signed the Kerala Police Act Amendment ordinance, envisaged by the Left government in thestate to prevent cyber attacks against women and children

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Kerala govt | Social Media | Pinarayi Vijayan

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

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The opposition parties had alleged that the amendment would give more power to the police and also curtail the freedom of the press

Kerala Governor Arif

Mohammed Khan has signed the Kerala Police Act Amendment ordinance, envisaged by the Left government in thestate to prevent cyber attacks against women and children which the opposition had alleged would curtail freedom of expression.

A Raj Bhavan source confirmed that the Governor, who had come back to the official residence recently after recovering from the COVID-19, signed the ordinance which had triggered widespread row in the southern state.

The opposition parties had alleged that the amendment would give more power to the police and also curtail the freedom of the press, the charge which was rejected by Chief Minister saying thedecision had been taken based on factors such asabuse of to tarnish the image of individuals.

The state cabinet, last month, had decided to give more teeth to the Police Act by recommending addition of Section 118-A.

It stipulates either imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to Rs 10,000 or both to those who produce, publish or disseminate content through any means of communication with an intention to intimidate, insult or defame any person through

Expressing concern over the rising crime graph, fake propaganda and hate speech on since the outbreak of COVID-19, the LDF government had said since cyber attacks are amajor threat to private life, it has been decided to amend thePolice Act as the existing legal provisions were inadequate tofight such crimes.

It said while the Supreme Court had repealed section 66-A of the IT Act and Section 118 (d) of the Kerala Police Act on the grounds that these were against freedom of expression, the Centre has not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.

"In this scenario, the police are unable to deal effectively with crimes committed through social media," the government had said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sat, November 21 2020. 12:04 IST
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