New Delhi (ILNS): The Kerala government has informed the Kerala High Court that the State government is taking steps to withdraw the newly introduced Section 118-A in the Kerala Police Act.
The division bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly, while considering a batch of petitions which challenged the ordinance as unconstitutional, has recorded the submission made by Additional Advocate General appearing for the State.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said: “On Tuesday, a special cabinet which met in the afternoon decided to recommend to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan to issue an ordinance to repeal Section 118-A.”
Khan had signed the Kerala Police Act Amendment ordinance, brought by the Left Front government envisaging addition of Section 118-A to prevent cyber attacks against women and children.
Loknath Behera, State Police chief has issued a circular directing all station house officers to refrain from registering FIRs based on Section 118-A till further orders. In his circular Behera said the police should consult the legal cell before taking any action on petitions and complaints filed on the basis of the amendment.
The court, after emphasizing that no adverse action could be taken under the provision during this time adjourned the matter by two weeks.
Opposition parties have slammed the state government on the ordinance, providing for imprisonment up to five years to those making defamatory social media posts, considering it against freedom of speech and the press.