Amendment ordinance of Kerala Govt. K​.​P Act 118 adding the sub clause under A

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Date: 23/10/2020    Ref:MM/Pet/KG/001/10/20                                                                                         


The Honourable Governor of Kerala,
Kerala Raj Bhavan, K G Camp P.O.,

Honourable Governor,

Sub: Request your kind intervention in withdrawing the unconstitutional and undemocratic amendment ordinance of Kerala Govt. K.P Act 118 adding the sub clause under A .

We refer to the above and bring into your kind attention that a decision was taken in the cabinet meeting of Kerala Govt. ministers held on 21st October 2020 wherein an ordinance issued adding a sub clause to current  Kerala Police Act 118.   The most undemocratic  amendment of this act says “anyone who produces content publishes or propagates it through any means of communication with an intention to threaten, insult or harm the reputation of an individual will be punished with  imprisonment of five years or a fine of Rs.10,000 or with both (sic)”. As per the provisions, if anyone expresses their independent opinion about irregularities of any leaders/governments through any communication such as printed/visual/online news or any other means including social media, the prosecuting authorities will be able to charge them with the cognizable offence and can send to the jail for five years or Rs. 10,000 fine or both. This ensures the authorities that the accused send to the jail straight away without   any appeals/submission of proof otherwise for at least a minimum period 15 days.

We would like to invite your notice that a more lenient rule compared to this was introduced under K.P Act 66A and 118D a few years ago which was outlawed by the Supreme Court after finding that those were unconstitutional and undemocratic. Now, the Pinarayi Vijayan Govt. introduced this new ordinance which we believe to protect from his government against public outcry towards the unfair and illegitimate interventions/ actions of the political leaders, government if any, for another eight months until the next assembly elections take place.

We foresee it as a breach of fundamental right of an Indian citizen to express his/her opinion without fear or fail.  India has never seen such a barbaric rule to prevent the democratic freedom of a citizen and we strongly believe it is framed intentionally to discourage one to question the inappropriate actions of a political leader or unfair treatment to the people, which very often brought out to the public domain due to the timely interventions of certain fearless and bold medias. We also afraid this ordinance will result in refrain from expressing the substantially evident supported opinions   with great confidence and belief. As a matter of fact, currently there are clearly rules and provisions under the constitution such as 19a, 19b  to protect an individual from harming/insulting as a result of  expression of opinion  by a third party.

In view of the above, we request your good office to intervene in the above and advise the Govt. of Kerala to withdraw such an ordinance, which completely against the fundamental rights of a citizen.

With regards,

For Marunadan Malayali.

Chief Editor