New Delhi: Citing criticism from different quarters, the CPI(M)-led Kerala Government on Monday decided to put on hold implementation of the controversial amendment to the state Police Act that mandates up to five years imprisonment to those making defamatory social media posts as the opposition termed it as an assault on freedom of speech. Also Read - Fire in Parcel Van of Malabar Express in Kerala, No Injury Reported
The announcement was made after the state secretariat meeting of the CPI (M). Adding that the government will not implement the controversial amendment as of now, CM Vijayan said that it is because those who supported the LDF and those who stood for protection of democracy has also expressed concern about it. Also Read - Exempted From Entertainment Tax Till March, Movie Theatres in Kerala To Reopen From January 13
“We are not intending to implement the amended Kerala Police Act. With the announcement of the amendment, different views arose from different quarters. 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 Kerala CM Vijayan. Also Read - Kerala Assembly Session Underway: Congress-led UDF Creates Ruckus, Stages Walkout
Speaking to ANI on this matter, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said, “Kerala CM has said that amendments to Kerala State Police Act won’t be implemented. The party had proposed (reconsideration) and the state government will now decide on how to go about it. How it will be handled is the business of the govt not the party.”
Opposition parties have slammed the amendment, brought through an ordinance, providing for imprisonment up to five years to those making defamatory social media posts, saying it was against freedom of speech and the press.