Nothing survives for adjudication: Kerala High Court closes challenge to Section 118-A of Kerala Police Act after provision's repeal

The provision, which was inserted by the Kerala Government by an ordinance in November, drew the ire of the public, after which it was withdrawn by a second ordinance.
Nothing survives for adjudication: Kerala High Court closes challenge to Section 118-A of Kerala Police Act after provision's repeal
Kerala hc, State police headquarters

The Kerala High Court today closed petitions challenging the controversial Section 118A of the Kerala Police Act, 2011.

A Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly disposed of the petitions today, citing the repeal of the ordinance that inserted the controversial provision.

Kerala hc, State police headquarters
Kerala Governor signs off on ordinance withdrawing Section 118A of Kerala Police Act

Section 118A had penalised 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.

The provision, which was inserted by the Kerala Government by an ordinance in November, drew the ire of the public, after which it was withdrawn by a second ordinance.

Stating that nothing remained in the matter, the Chief Justice-led Bench closed proceedings.

Earlier, the Bench had directed that no adverse action could be taken by resorting to the provision when the petitions challenging it first came up. By this time, the provision had been effectively in limbo after the Chief Minister announced the Government's intention to withdraw the ordinance.

Kerala hc, State police headquarters
[BREAKING] Section 118A: Amid backlash, Kerala Government backtracks on controversial amendment to Kerala Police Act

The provision had prescribed punishment of upto 3 years or fine of Rs. 10,000 or both. Many had described the provision as reminiscent of the erstwhile Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, which was eventually struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in the Shreya Singhal case.

Read the Judgment here:

Attachment
PDF
Shibu Baby John and Ors. v. State of Kerala and connected petitions.pdf
Preview

Related Stories

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news
www.barandbench.com