RULING WITH AN IRON HAND? Cops given powers to book any person who brings “hatred, contempt or dissatisfaction against govts”
The Maharashtra government has in an order dated August 27 given police powers to take action against those critical of the state or central government if it deemed such critiques to be particularly offensive. Political observers apprehend this could threaten free speech.
The government order allows the police to invoke a colonial era sedition clause -124-A of the Indian Penal Code -against any person who “by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, dissatisfaction and provoking violence against the central or the state government.“