New Delhi, November 22: Arif Mohmmad Khan, the Governor of Kerala, on Saturday, signed the Kerala Police Act Amendment ordinance. The Pinarayi Vijayan government in the state said that the amendments were undertaken to give more power to the act by adding Section 118-A to it, for preventing cyber attacks against women and children. The opposition however lashed out at the state government, claiming that the amendment would curtail the freedom of speech and expression. India News | New Amendment Made to Kerala Police Act Won't Be Used Against Free Speech, Impartial Journalism: CM Vijayan.
As per the new amendments, is anyone publishes or disseminates content through any means of communication or on any platform, with the intention to intimidating, insulting or defaming any person, it can charged with an imprisonment for up to five years, or a fine of up to Rs 10,000 or both. The Kerala government said that cyber attacks are a major threat to private life, it has been decided to amend the Police Act as the existing legal provisions were inadequate to fight such crimes. India News | Kerala Congress Calls Amendment to Kerala Police Act Conspiracy to Silence Voices Against Vijayan Govt.
The Opposition has launched an attack on the state government over the amendments to the Kerala Police Act. It alleged that the new amendments would give more power to police and can lead of obstruction of freedom of speech and expression and is a threat to free press, and may lead to partial journalism in the state. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has, however denied all the claims made by opposition.
The Supreme Court had earlier repealed Section 66-A of the IT Act and Section 118 (d) of the Kerala Police Act on the grounds that they were against the freedom of expression .
Kerala Police Act: All You Need to Know About Amendments in The Legislation and Why Opposition is Against Them