‘Will hear views of all parties’, says Kerala CM after withholding controversial Police Act amendment ordinance
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday announced that the state government is putting on hold the controversial Kerala Police Amendment ordinance.
In a statement from the chief minister’s office on Monday, Vijayan said, “The Kerala government had decided to amend the Kerala Police Act in an effort to check the widespread malicious campaigns through social media and otherwise, which pose a threat to individual freedom and dignity, which are constitutionally ensured to citizens.”
“The amendment evoked varied responses from several corners. Apprehensions were aired by those who support the LDF and profess to defend democracy. In these circumstances, the Government of Kerala will not go ahead with implementing the amendment,” the statement further added.
It also said that detailed discussions will be held in the Assembly and further steps will be taken after hearing the views of all parties. The controversial ordinance was signed by Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday.
Watch Vijayan govt puts Kerala Police Act Amendment on hold: All you need to know
The statement was issued after the Congress protested in state capital Thiruvananthapuram against the government’s amendments to the Kerala State Police Act.
Vijayan had said on Sunday that the act will in no way be used against free speech or impartial journalism and apprehensions to the contrary are unfounded.
Vijayan had further said that along with ensuring the freedom of the press, the government also has the responsibility of upholding a citizen’s individual freedom and his/her dignity as enshrined in the Constitution.
The amendment was introduced in the context of the cyber-attacks being faced by women and transgenders.
The law aims to stop bullying, insulting or disgracing individuals through any content and circulating the same through any communication medium. The offenders will be awarded a sentence of three years/penalty of Rs 10,000 or both.
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