Lawstreet Journal

Kerala Governor signs off ordinance amending Kerala Police Act, 2011 to combat defamation and criminalize certain classes of communication

Lawstreet Journal 24 Nov 2020 7:24pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Executive Kerala Governor signs off ordinance amending Kerala Police Act, 2011 to combat defamation and criminalize certain classes of communication

Arif Mohammad Khan, the Kerala Governor, signed off a controversial ordinance introduced by the Left government in the State on Saturday (21st November 2020) which amends the Kerala Police Act, 2011.

The amendment states Section 118A to criminalise certain classes of communication and publications.

This new provision makes any expression, publication or dissemination of threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating content made through any mode of communication punishable if the person does it knowing it to be false and damaging to reputation or mind of another person. A person, if convicted for the offence, can be punished with imprisonment of upto 3 years or fine of Rs. 10,000 or both.

On October 21, 2020, a press release by the Kerala government, had pointed out that the Central government has not introduced a new provision to replace Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act and Section 118(d) of the Kerala Police Act after they were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2014. 

It also stated that the Kerela cabinet took this step due to the lacuna in the existent legal framework.

The Supreme Court on the ground that it was against freedom of speech and expression and vague and prone to misuse had quashed the Section 66-A of the IT Act 2000 and Section 118 (d) of the Kerala Police Act 2011.

Section 66-A was a provision in the Information Technology Act, 2000 that punished the transmission of offensive messages by way of a computer device. Offensive messages were described as any information that wasgrossly offensive or menacing characterinformation known… Continue Reading...


Tagged: Kerala Government  
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