Amendment to Kerala Police Act | It shows Left govt’s responsiveness: Sitaram Yechury

Sitaram Yechury. File  

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s decision to put on hold the amended Kerala Police Act that gives additional powers to the police to crack down on defamatory or abusive social media posts showed the responsiveness of the Left government in the State and it would be the reason why people would re-elect the Left Democratic Front, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Monday.

Last month, the Kerala Cabinet decided to give more teeth to the Act by recommending the addition of Section 118-A. It stipulates either imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to ₹10,000 or both for those who produce, publish or disseminate content through any means of communication with an intention to intimidate, insult or defame any person through social media.

Vijayan statement

Mr. Vijayan, in a statement, said that responses from several corners and apprehensions aired by those who supported the LDF and stood for defending democracy had led to this rethink.

Amendment to Kerala Police Act | It shows Left govt’s responsiveness: Sitaram Yechury

Mr. Yechury said, “Which other government is similarly responsive? The fact that this law has been put on hold shows that there is a very vibrant democratic process within our party and we are responsive to people’s opinion”. He pointed to the Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments who, he said, despite public outcry, were bringing in laws against inter-faith marriage in the name of ‘love jihad’.

“Look at the Madhya Pradesh government, it wants to ban Suitable Boy. Despite outcry and national protest, they come up with laws against inter-faith marriage and so on,” he stated.

The central leadership of the CPI(M) had to step in to reverse Kerala amendments. “This is an issue on which there has been widespread criticism and we think very genuine criticism has come. We are a party that takes into account all this and we have our own recall,” Mr. Yechury observed.

The amendments have been recalled in line with the party’s consistent position. As a Rajya Sabha member, Mr Yechury said, he had moved a resolution against Section 66 A of the Information and Technology Act, which had similar provisions. “This is a consistent position of the party and in line with it, the Chief Minister has announced that it will not be implemented,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 8:27:22 AM |

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