The Kerala Government once again lands in deep trouble as it calls off the notorious Police Act 118A. As per the press release from the Chief Minister’s office the government is not planning to implement the Amended act.
The newly constituted Police Act 118A proposes a punishment of up to 3 months term for anyone who spreads any news in any type of media that may be subject to humiliation or defamation of any person or persons, in case the news is found fake and is being spread by the person who drafted it knowing that it is false. The act proposes that police can take a case on itself without a complaint.
The opposition parties, media persons, media houses and even a section of the communist party opposed this act stating that it is a draconian law and is an infringement to the freedom of speech. As per the amended act, anyone can file a case against any media including print electronic and online media. This act will be misused by the government to fight against people who speak against the government. As the opposition came from different corners of the society, the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan made a statement today, stating that the government is not planning to implement the reformed Act.
However the funniest thing is that the newly added Police Act 118A is now officially the rule of the land and has be published in the Gazette and also signed by the Governor of the State. A mere statement by the Chief Minister will not make it null and void. If the government was not planning to implement it, why did they propose the bill at all?
Now if the government wants to switch it back, the legal formalities are immense. The assembly needs to pass the newly corrected bill and it should be send to the Governor for approval. The confusion and chaos has tarnished the image of the government and the credibility and decision making power of the chief minister himself. As the LSG body elections are fast approaching the image of the CPI(M) led government is getting tarnished every day.