The Kerala government has decided to postpone an ordinance on November 23, 2020, which seeks to make abusive or defamatory online content punishable with imprisonment up to 3 years.
The decision has been taken by Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan a day after approving the controversial ordinance amending the Kerala Police Act to insert a new clause.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that, recently, many people were apprehensive about the amendments made in the Kerala Police Act, 2011, after which the government decided to postpone it and it was discussed in the Assembly as well. .
This new ordinance amends the Kerala Police Act 2011 to include a new section 118A, according to which a provision of 3 years in jail as well as a fine of Rs 10,000 for any such online content creation, online publication or online circulation. Is content that uses threatening, derogatory or derogatory remarks against any person or group or defamatory content that has damaged the honor or wealth of that person or group.
Section 118 A is considered the most stringent of all the sections. This section proposes imprisonment for three years and a fine of up to Rs 10,000 to those found guilty of online production or publication or dissemination of derogatory, abusive and defamatory content.
However, this offense is bailable and cognizable.
After discussing with the Chief Minister of Kerala, CPI (M) State Secretariat and members of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) party, the Kerala government has decided to postpone the ordinance.
The state government was facing severe criticism from opposition parties, journalists and civil rights activists for enacting a law that threatened the freedom of speech.