Kerala proposes to amend IPC to curb publishing and distribution of grossly scurrilous printed matters and those intended for blackmail

Updated - November 08, 2022 09:26 pm IST

Published - November 08, 2022 07:31 pm IST - KOCHI

Taking cue of the legislation introduced in Odisha and Tamil Nadu, the Kerala government proposes to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and bring in legislation to curb the printing, publishing and distribution of ‘grossly indecent or scurrilous matter or matter intended for blackmail.’

The proposed amendment, the Criminal Law (Kerala Amendment) Bill, 2022, is understood to be currently under the consideration of the Home department.


The draft Bill has defined the term ‘scurrilous’ as any matter which is likely to be injurious to morality or is calculated to injure any person. The proposed legislation also covers scurrilous matter printed or published in relation to a public servant in the discharge of his public functions or with respect to his character and conduct.

Incidentally, the State government had earlier backtracked from its attempts to bring in the amendments following public criticism.

The government proposes to introduce Section 292 A through the legislation after Section 292 of the IPC, which deals with the sale of obscene books, pamphlets, drawings, paintings which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interests.

New legislation

The new legislation would also cover those who print or cause to be printed in any newspaper, periodical or circular, or exhibits or causes to be exhibited, to public view any picture or printed or written document ‘which is grossly indecent, or is scurrilous or intended for blackmail,’ according to the draft Bill.

The selling, hiring, distribution or possession of such pictures or written documents would also be deemed as an offence under the proposed piece of law. The act of taking part in or receiving profits from or advertising any business related to the distribution of such pictures intended for blackmail would be punishable under the Act.

The Bill has prescribed an imprisonment of up to two years or with fine or with both for those who are convicted. The second or any subsequent offence under the section shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not be less than six months and not more than two years and with fine, it has been proposed.

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