Kerala government put on hold law giving cops power to curb abusive content

South India
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The government took the U turn on the issue, after the central leadership and state secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which heads the LDF, took a serious view of the widespread criticism against the move from Opposition parties, journalist organisations and civil rights activists.

Amid mounting protests from various quarters, including a section of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), the Kerala government has decided not to put into effect a recent amendment to the Kerala Police Act that sought to empower the police to prosecute persons who disseminate information that the law enforcement deemed defamatory.

A statement issued from the CM’s office on Monday, November 23, said that the government will not go ahead with implementing the amendment in the light of apprehensions aired by those who support the LDF and profess to defend democracy.

“The Kerala Government had decided to amend the Kerala Police Act in an effort to check the widespread malicious campaigns through social media and otherwise, which pose a threat to individual freedom and dignity, which are constitutionally ensured to citizens,” the statement said.

The statement said that an amendment to the law was proposed in view of criticisms and complaints received from various quarters of the society against defamatory, untrue and obscene campaigns, merciless attacks on various sections including women and transgenders.

“There have been instances in which even the integrity of families has been affected, resulting in suicides. The need for legally tackling this was raised even by the heads of media houses. It was in these circumstances that an amendment to the Kerala Police Act was envisaged,” the statement said adding that the future course of action will be decided on the basis of detailed discussions in the Assembly.

The chief minister has appealed to those who engage in campaigns against personal liberty and the spirit of humanism to stop doing so on social media and otherwise. The entire society should exercise vigil in this regard.

The government took the U turn on the issue, after the central leadership and state secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which heads the LDF, took a serious view of the widespread criticism against the move from Opposition parties, journalist organisations and civil rights activists.

LDF convener and CPI (M) acting State secretary A. Vijayaraghavan said concerns raised by progressive persons had prompted the rethink. The misuse of social media for hurtful slander targeting women, children and families had necessitated the law. However, the scope of potential abuse of the law had prompted its withdrawal.

Image Credit: Republicworld

Amid mounting protests from various quarters, including a section of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), the Kerala government has decided not to put into effect a recent amendment to the Kerala Police Act that sought to empower the police to prosecute persons who disseminate information that the law enforcement deemed defamatory.

A statement issued from the CM’s office on Monday, November 23, said that the government will not go ahead with implementing the amendment in the light of apprehensions aired by those who support the LDF and profess to defend democracy.

“The Kerala Government had decided to amend the Kerala Police Act in an effort to check the widespread malicious campaigns through social media and otherwise, which pose a threat to individual freedom and dignity, which are constitutionally ensured to citizens,” the statement said.

The statement said that an amendment to the law was proposed in view of criticisms and complaints received from various quarters of the society against defamatory, untrue and obscene campaigns, merciless attacks on various sections including women and transgenders.

“There have been instances in which even the integrity of families has been affected, resulting in suicides. The need for legally tackling this was raised even by the heads of media houses. It was in these circumstances that an amendment to the Kerala Police Act was envisaged,” the statement said adding that the future course of action will be decided on the basis of detailed discussions in the Assembly.

The chief minister has appealed to those who engage in campaigns against personal liberty and the spirit of humanism to stop doing so on social media and otherwise. The entire society should exercise vigil in this regard.

The government took the U turn on the issue, after the central leadership and state secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which heads the LDF, took a serious view of the widespread criticism against the move from Opposition parties, journalist organisations and civil rights activists.

LDF convener and CPI (M) acting State secretary A. Vijayaraghavan said concerns raised by progressive persons had prompted the rethink. The misuse of social media for hurtful slander targeting women, children and families had necessitated the law. However, the scope of potential abuse of the law had prompted its withdrawal.

Image Credit: Republicworld

 

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