The Kerala government has decided to amend the Kerala Police Act to check increasing abuse on social media and cybercrime.
The cabinet on Wednesday decided to recommend to the Governor to issue an Ordinance to incorporate a new Section 118(A) into the Act to punish any person who creates or sends any information that is offensive or is intended to offend or threaten another person, through any means of communication, with an imprisonment of five years or a fine of Rs 10,000 or both.
An official release said the Kerala High Court had earlier directed the state police to take steps against hate campaigns and attacks through social media. The time of the coronavirus pandemic has seen a spurt in attacks and hate campaigns on social media.
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In 2015, the Supreme Court had struck down Section 66A of The Information Technology Act, which was being used by police to arrest people on charges of posting objectionable content on the Internet. The top court had also nullified Section 118(D) of the Kerala Police Act, ruling it infringed on the freedom of speech.
The cabinet noted that the central government had not so far brought in legislation to replace the revoked sections, which had left the police hamstrung in effectively dealing with social media abuse and cybercrime.
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