Thiruvananthapuram: Though the chief minister's announcement that the laws will be made stricter to prevent cyber attack was widely appreciated, it turned out to be a setback for the government after the implementation. The opposition and the BJP are questioning the intentions behind the amendment to the Kerala Police Act which may affect the freedom of the press.
As the CPM politburo rejected the amendment publicly, the chief minister had to give an explanation for the same. He could only assure that the law will not be misused. However, the amendment can be misused and misinterpreted easily. Any person can file complaint against a media house or person who produced the content which hurt their sentiments. Also the person mentioned in the news need not be the complainant.
The opposition is interpreting this as a move to censor news against the government using police force. The CPM had overtly opposed the central government move to bring the digital media under control of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. But when it comes to the state, they have imposed police surveillance on the media.
Following this, the central leadership of the party had to oppose the amendment. Also they had welcomed the supreme court decision to cancel section 66-A of the IT Act as it affects the freedom of expression. The chief minister assured that the police will not misuse the new amendment.
However, when two students were imprisoned as per UAPA, the CPM explained it to be the mistake of the police. The opposition opined that the law cannot be imposed appropriately without setting any regulative measures. Both UDF and BJP allege that the CM is trying to stop the news reports on the probe by central agencies.