THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Under fire from various quarters, the state government has decided not to implement the controversial Police Act amendment. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday made it clear that further action on the amendment will be taken after detailed discussion in the Assembly and collecting feedback from various sections.
The decision was taken at the CPM Secretariat meet attended by Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday. In the morning, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury had said the party would review the amendment.
In a statement issued here after the party secretariat meet, the Chief Minister said the governement decided to bring in the ordinance in view of widespread abuse of social media. Various sections of society including women and transgenders are being attacked through social media with defamatory and obscene campaigns.
It was in this backdrop that the government decided to bring in an ordinance amending the Police Act. However, after the amendment was brought in, people from different walks of life, including those who support the Left front and those who stand up for democratic values, expressed concern. Taking this into consideration, the government has decided not to implement the amendment.
Further action will be taken after thorough discussions in the Assembly. Those who indulge in malicious campaigns through social media should keep away from the same, said the Chief Minister, who also urged the public to be cautious about such campaigns.
The amendment to the Kerala Police Act, 2011, gives the police more power to prosecute persons who exploit various communication platforms to slander fellow citizens. It was on Saturday that Governor Arif Mohammad Khan signed the ordinance. Soon after, opposition parties and socio-political commentaries came out against the amendment.
It was pointed out that the amendment is against the CPM's declared stance on freedom of speech and expression. CM Pinarayi Vijayan had stated on Sunday that the new legislation won't be used to curtail freedom of speech or against impartial media.