The Kerala government has decided to put hold on the controversial amendment to enable arrests for content or social media posts deemed as “offensive” after a severe backlash. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the amendment to the Kerala Police Act “will not be implemented”.
“With announcements of the amendment, different views arose from different quarters. The concerns were expressed by those who supported LDF and those who stood for protection of democracy. In this situation, it’s not intended to amend the law,” said the Chief Minister.
There was a massive criticism over the Kerala government’s move to which the opposition said it could be used to suppress the freedom of expression, freedom of press and silence the critics.
On Sunday, the Chief Minister briefed that the amendment “will in no way be used against free speech or impartial journalism”.
The special order was signed by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday allowed to punish those guilty of spreading content by any means (including social media) that was said to be derogatory or defamatory. Offenders could face up to three years in jail, a fine of Rs. 10,000 or both.