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The governor of Kerala signs the ordinance to change the police law

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Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan Signs Ordinance Saturday (File)

Thiruvananthapuram:

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday signed into law an ordinance passed by the LDF government to amend the Southern State Police Law to punish those found guilty of spreading content by any means of communication, including social media, that is said to be derogatory defamatory

Under the amended sections of the law, the accused could face up to three years in prison, with a fine of 10,000 Rs or both. Government sources say the ordinance protects women and children amid an increase in cyberbullying and hate speech, stressing that such attacks could be a threat to the physical and mental security of the target individual (s).

The amended law allows the police to take suo moto measures in such cases.

However, the opposition has expressed concern about a change they say gives the police more unnecessary power and potentially restricts press freedom, as well as allowing the state to target critics.

Congress leader P Chidambaram wrote on Twitter this morning that he was “shocked” by the new law.

“Shocked by the law made by the Kerala Light Democratic Front (LDF) government doing a so-called ‘offensive’ post on social media punishable by 5 years in prison,” he said.

Back in October, when the LDF government recommended adding this provision to the Kerala Police Act (2011), its ally, the Communist Party of India (CPI) expressed similar concerns.

News source

Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier said the number of cyber attacks was “very worrying”.

“Cyber-attacks are a threat to the privacy of life. Hasht decided to change the Police Law as existing laws were found inappropriate to address the issue. The state cabinet has decided to recommend the Governor to issue an amendment to the Law as an ordinance,” he wrote. on Facebook.

According to the PTI news agency, the state government also stressed that while the Supreme Court had repealed several other sections – of the Police Act and IT – the center had not introduced any other legal framework, and this was affecting the police’s ability to dealt with crimes committed on or through social media.

With data from PTI



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