Amid mounting criticism, Kerala puts on hold controversial Police Act Amendment ordinance
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday announced his government was putting on hold the controversial Kerala Police Amendment ordinance, which had triggered severe criticism of the state’s ruling CPI(M) government and allegations that it was a move aimed at “muzzling media.”
In a brief statement on Monday, Vijayan said, ““We have been forced to bring an ordinance in view of serious cyber attacks against women and children. Many suicides and break up took place due to this. In view of concern expressed from various quarters, we have decided not to go ahead with it.”
Also, earlier in the day, Sitaram Yechury, the general secretary of the CPI(M), which is in power in Kerala, had disowned the ordinance, remarking that it did not represent his party’s view. On Sunday, amid mounting criticism of the ordinance, chief minister Vijayan had defended it, saying that the ordinance was guided by “growing abuse on social media targeting individuals and their personal freedom.”
“The new amendment will no way be used against impartial journalism. Apprehensions to the contrary are unfounded,” he had said in a statement. “Within the contours of our Constitution and legal framework, everybody has the right to make the strongest criticism. The new amendment will not hamper that freedom in any way,” the statement had noted further.
Under the proposed amendment, which was signed by Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Saturday, a police officer can suo motu register a case against an accused and arrest him. Also, any person can file a complaint against the accused.
Under the amendment, any person who creates or sends any information that is deemed to be “offensive” or is intended to “offend or threaten” another person through any means of communication is liable to face imprisonment of three years or a fine of Rs 10,000 or both, according to the 118 (A) amendment to the Police Act 2011.
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- The family of the man who was shot dead alleged that he was a victim of infighting in the local unit of the Trinamool Congress.
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- The woman's father had earlier lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against the youth from Karnataka for allegedly kidnapping his daughter and forcing her to change religion.
- The Speaker had initiated proceedings under anti-defection laws to decide if the merger of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) led by Babulal Marandi into the BJP in February, 2020, was valid.
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