Police Act of Kerala State has been amended and notified today to punish those found guilty of spreading content by any means of communication, including social media, that is said to be derogatory or defamatory.
Under the amended sections of the law, the accused may face up to three years in jail, a fine of ₹ 10,000 or both.
Kerala Chief Minister says the ordinance protects women and children amid an increase in cyber bullying and hates speech, pointing out that those crimes attack the dignity of individuals.
The amended law allows police to take suo moto action in such cases.
However, the opposition has expressed concern over the amendment which they say gives draconian power to police and potentially curtails the freedom of the press.
State BJP president and Congress president have come out against the amendment accusing the Government trying to silence its critics especially at a time when Government is cornered by different allegations.
The amendment was brought by the State as existing provision of IT Act were found insufficient to act against fake news and derogatory remarks being spread on social media especially against women.
Source: DD News