Section 118A of Kerala Police Act: 5 grounds of challenge in 5 petitions before Kerala High Court

This article takes a look at some of the grounds of challenge to Section 118-A of the Kerala Police Act.
Section 118A of Kerala Police Act: 5 grounds of challenge in 5 petitions before Kerala High Court
State Police Headquarters Kerala

The legal challenge to Section 118A of the Kerala Police Act continues, despite the Kerala Chief Minister's assurances that it will not be implemented.

After the Kerala Governor gave his assent to the controversial ordinance amending the Kerala Police Act, 2011 to introduce Section 118A, four politicians, an activist, a law student, and a lawyer have moved the Kerala High Court for quashing the provision.

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The provision, ostensibly aimed at encouraging courteous speech online and over various media, has been at the receiving end of criticism for the vagueness of its provisions, and its eerie similarity to Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

This new provision makes 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, can be punished with imprisonment of upto 3 years or fine of Rs. 10,000 or both

This is how the provision reads:

Punishment for making, expressing, publishing or disseminating any matter which is threatening, abusive, humiliating or defamatory.─ Whoever makes, expresses, publishes or disseminates through any kind of mode of communication, any matter or subject for threatening, abusing, humiliating or defaming a person or class of persons, knowing it to be false and that causes injury to the mind, reputation or property of such person or class of persons or any other person in whom they have interest shall on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.
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