EDEN IAS

NEWS IMPULSE – DRACONIAN’ KERALA ORDINANCE | 23 NOVEMBER

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><b><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>WHY IN NEWS ?</span></span></span></b></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>Kerala Governor approved an ordinance ( amendment to Kerala Police Act) promulgated by&nbsp; government in the state for punishing the &ldquo;making, expressing, publishing or disseminating&rdquo; of any &ldquo;matters&rdquo; which could be constructed &ldquo;threatening, abusive, humiliating or defamatory</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><b><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>BACKGROUND:</span></span></span></b></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>In 2015, the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment (Shreya Singhal v. Union of India) on Section 66A of the IT Act had also struck down a similar provision of the Kerala Police Act for being violative of the right to freedom of speech and expression and for its vagueness.Section 66A would directly apply to the provision &ldquo;as causing annoyance in an indecent manner suffers from the same type of vagueness and overbreadth&hellip;&rdquo;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><b><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>UNDER KEY PROVISIONS OF THE AMENDMENT&nbsp; TO THE KERALA POLICE ACT 2011</span></span></span></b></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>&bull; Anyone creating or sending offensive message or that which is intended to offend or threaten another person, through any means of communication, is liable to face imprisonment of five years or fine of Rs 10,000 or both</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>&bull; Police can slap criminal charges on citizens by interpreting any kind of communication through any medium as defamatory</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>&bull; It finds even &ldquo;injury to the mind&rdquo; a reason for slapping criminal charges not just on the petition of the victim, but also anyone &ldquo;in whom they have interest&rdquo; or as a suo motu act by a police official.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><b><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>WHY IS IT CONTROVERSIAL?</span></span></span></b></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>&bull; The amendment has stretched the law to such an extent that every communication or publication has been left to the subjective interpretation of the police to slap criminal charges against anyone.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>&bull; The move comes on the heels of failed efforts by the government to control the narrative in the media, especially social mediain the wake of discussions of ongoing investigations by centre agencies in the state.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”>&nbsp;</p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><b><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>Source: Times of India</span></span></span></b></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”><span style=”font-size:11pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:Calibri,sans-serif”><b><span style=”font-size:12.0pt”><span style=”line-height:115%”><span style=”font-family:&quot;Cambria&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;”>Governance Part</span></span></span></b></span></span></span></p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”>&nbsp;</p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”>&nbsp;</p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”>&nbsp;</p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”>&nbsp;</p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”>&nbsp;</p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”>&nbsp;</p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”>&nbsp;</p>

<p style=”margin-bottom:13px”>&nbsp;</p>

This will close in 0 seconds