Kerala Governor, Mohammad Arif Khan, on Wednesday signed off on a new ordinance withdrawing the earlier one that inserted the contentious Section 118A in the Kerala Police Act, 2011..Section 118A criminalised certain classes of communication and publications. It made any expression, publication or dissemination of threatening, abusive, defamatory or humiliating content made through any mode of communication punishable if the person does it knowing it to be false and damaging to reputation or mind of another person. A person, if convicted for the offence, could be punished with imprisonment of upto 3 years or fine of Rs. 10,000 or both.The provision, inserted through an ordinance, was subject to severe backlash for the vagueness of its terms and the manner of its introduction..The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government decided to withdraw the provision after criticism mounted with the detractors and political opponents accusing the State government of attempting to curb free speech through the provision.A slew of petitions were also filed before the Kerala High Court by various political leaders and activists against the law.The petitioners challenged the ordinance as vaguely-worded, an unreasonable restriction on free speech and expression, and a resurrection of Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act, which had earlier been struck down by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India..When the petitions came up for hearing today, the Additional Advocate General informed the High Court that the ordinance could be withdrawn at any time by the Governor, in terms of Article 213(2)(b) of the Constitution. .The counsel appearing for the petitioner argued that the Governor could not simply withdraw an ordinance, but that it would have to be tabled before the Legislative Assembly before it could be so withdrawn..The Chief Justice-led Bench stated that there was no need to consider whether the procedure under Article 213(2)(b) was followed in letter and in spirit.The court the proceeded to record the State's submission that it was taking steps to withdraw the controversial ordinance..Yesterday, the Kerala High Court had issued an interim order making it clear that no adverse action, suo motu case or FIR shall be registered invoking the controversial ordinance which introduced Section 118-A recently to the Kerala Police Act, 2011, until the State Government takes a decision on its implementation.