Governor signs controversial Police Act amendment ordinance

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has signed the Kerala Police Act Amendment ordinance, envisaged by the Left government in the state 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 Pinarayi Vijayan saying the decision had been taken based on factors such as abuse of social media 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 social media.

 

 

Asianet.in/NewsDesk: Asianet Online