5-year jail term for ‘offensive’ social media post: Kerala’s Scary New Law

 - Sakshi Post

A new ordinance that was passed by the Kerala government suggested a jail-term of five years for any offensive or malicious social media post.  The Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammad Khan has provided his consent to the ordinance.

According to the new Section, 118 (A) in the Kerala police Act, any person who is responsible for creating a post that is offensive or harmful to another person, will be punished.  This includes malicious posts made on any platform or any mode of communication. The punishment for such an act will be 5 years in jail or a Rs. 10,000 fine or both.

Advocate Anoop Kumaran has said that he stands against this ordinance. The government claims that Section 118(A) will protect people from social media abuse and it will be in favor of the public. But we know how this will be used against anyone who disparages or speaks ill of the government.

Going ahead with this amendment could mean restricting the freedom of speech and freedom of press. It will give more power to the police. But the Kerala government has said that there is a rise in crime and the spread of fake news has increased as well. The present legal provisions are not enough to combat them.  Supreme Court had scraped the Section 118 (D) of the Kerala Police Act and the Section 66-A of the IT Act, but not given a replacement for it

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