Letter to Kerala Government to Reconsider the Proposal for Amending the Kerala Police Act by inserting Section 118 (A)

SFLC.in sent a letter to the Chief Minister of Kerala in reference to the press release dated 21st October 2020 regarding the amendment to the Kerala Police Act, 2011. The said press release states that Kerala Police Act will be amended by inserting Section 118(A) aimed at curbing cyber bullying. The said amendment seeks to impose a fine of 10,000 rupees or a jail term of 5 years or both to any individual who threaten, insult or harm the reputation of an individual through any means of communication. The provision enables crimes to be registered suo moto or by any individual. The wordings of the section suggest that this can be applicable not only to posts on social media but also mainstream media.

We believe that the said amendment if passed can cause a chilling effect on Freedom of Speech and Expression in the
state. The proposed amendment can be used by law enforcement agencies to curb dissent and to clamp
down on legitimate criticism of authorities and individuals.

The letter sent to Sri. Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala, can be found below: