Facing outrage from society, the LDF government, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on Monday chose not to implement the new section introduced in the Kerala Police Act (KPA), 2011. The section was widely viewed as a brazen attack on freedom of speech. As a slew of petitions were filed in the Kerala High Court demanding to quash Section 118-A, Vijayan on Monday announced the withdrawal of the amendment, thereby laying to rest a controversy that has been raging for the past couple of days.
Vijayan made it clear that the government has no intention to implement the new provision. The issue would be discussed in the state assembly. Further decision on the issue would be taken after hearing the views of all political parties, he said.
The government clarified it came out with the amendment after some individuals misused social media to post abusive comments and videos against women. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan signed the ordinance amending the KPA on Sunday. The new controversial provision reportedly proposed five years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 for those convicted of producing, publishing or disseminating derogatory content through any means of communication to intimidate, insult or defame any persons on social media.