Prasant Bhushan calls Kerala Police Act amendment draconian

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Taking to Twitter, the senior advocate said that the amendment is bound to be abused to silence dissent

Prasant Bhushan | Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Senior advocate Prasant Bhushan has sharply criticised the Police Act amendment ordinance introduced by Kerala government.

Bhushan took to Twitter and said “Kerala has amended the Kerala Police Act by ordinance that provides jail term for any social media or cyber post that is deemed “offensive” or threatening. This is draconian & bound to be abused to silence dissent. Similar Sec 66A of the IT Act was struck down.”

The addition of Section 118-A in the Police Act stipulates either imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to Rs 10,000 or both to those who produce, publish or disseminate content through any means of communication with an intention to intimidate, insult or defame any person through social media.

The Supreme Court had repealed section 66-A of the IT Act and Section 118 (d) of the Kerala Police Act on the grounds that these were against freedom of expression. However, the Centre has not introduced any other legal framework.

According to the Kerala government, this resulted in the police being unable to deal effectively with crimes committed through social media and hence the amendment.

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