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Kerala Police Act amendment not cleared by MHA

Representational image only.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Kerala ordinance empowering the police to prosecute persons who disseminated information that the law enforcement deemed defamatory was not sent to the Centre for examination, a senior Home Ministry official said on Monday.

The ordinance was brought under the Kerala Police Act, 2011, which is out of the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ domain, explained the official.

Several States have their own Police Act, which is governed on the basis of the Police Act of 1861. The Police Act broadly lays down the contours for administrative functioning of the police department and also specifies certain rules to be followed by the public.

Other than this there are criminal laws such as the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and any amendment to them passed by the State assembly needs the President’s nod after consultation with the MHA.

 

The MHA examines the Bills passed by State Assemblies that are repugnant with Central laws before they get the President’s assent to become a law.

After an uproar over the proposed amendments the Kerala government decided on Monday to not to put the ordinance into effect. It also said that the amendments will be debated in the Legislative Assembly. The ordinance has not been scrapped though.

The ordinance seeks to insert a new Section 118-A into the 2011 Act proposing three years of imprisonment and a fine of up to ₹10,000 for those convicted of producing, publishing or disseminating derogatory content through any means of communication to intimidate, insult or defame any person.

In 2017, MHA had returned a Bill passed by the Punjab Assembly that proposed life imprisonment for sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the holy book of the Sikhs by introducing a new amended Section 295 AA in the IPC. The MHA sought clarifications as it violated the principle of secularism as mentioned in the Constitution of India.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 9:20:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala-police-act-amendment-not-cleared-by-mha/article33162991.ece

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