Hyderabad/Chandigarh, November 23: Indian Journalists Union (IJU) severely condemned the ordinance brought out by the Left Government in Kerala amending the Police Act ostensibly to curb abusive content. The amended law gives unfettered power to police to book people for mere exercising of the right to speak their mind, the Union said.
In a statement issued on Monday K. Sreenivas Reddy and Balwinder Singh Jammu President and Secretary General of the IJU demanded the Kerala Government to withdraw the amendment forthwith as it is against the basic right of freedom of expression and will have a chilling effect on free flow of thoughts.
According to the amended law a person convicted of producing, publishing or disseminating derogatory content through any means of communication can be punished with a prison sentence of three years and a fine of up to Rs.10,000.
Given the dangerous portents of malicious content being pushed online every minute it is indeed desirable to have regulation of social media and even the Supreme Court is seized of this matter, the IJU leaders said. But it is not for the Government or police to decide what is good and what is bad.
Any regulation should be through an independent body the composition and mandate of which has to be decided only after thorough consultations with all the stake holders.
It is surprising that a left Government brought this retrogressive measure empowering police to decide defamation which can be abused to silence media, the IJU leaders said.
Issued for favour of publication /broad caste in your news paper / news channel
Source :(K.Sreenivas Reddy, President,IJU)