Bihar govt ideas to criminalise ‘insulting’ criticism of the governing administration

The Bihar federal government has instructed its police departments to get started investigating criticism of the government, parliamentarians, legislators, and govt officials, NDTV documented. The transfer to criminalise “insulting” criticism of a authorities will be the the initial of its kind in the country, wherever in recent months state governments and law enforcement departments have been issuing notices to artists, movie-markets comedians and typical citizens around what they think about objectionable content on social media.

“Reports hold coming to light-weight that some individuals/companies are creating offensive/indecent feedback on social media about honorable ministers, users of parliament, MLAs, and government officials,” Nayyar Hasnain Khan, Further Director Typical of Law enforcement at Bihar’s Economic Offences Unit wrote in a letter to the state’s secretaries. “This is illegal and falls below the classification of cybercrime,” Khan claimed.

“Criticism is healthier for democracy. But criticism need to be constructive and the language employed ought to slide inside of the norms of decency,” Jitendra Kumar, an Added Director Common of Police reportedly reported.

The Bihar governments’ go signifies a startling assault on independence of expression rules. In simple fact, jurisprudence on free speech in India has apparent suggestions on what type of speech is safeguarded and what is not. Having said that, that has not stopped point out governments and public officers to arrest citizens over social media posts in the latest months and years. The scope of the language utilised in the letter could direct to widespread point out action versus on the net consumers.

The Kerala government not too long ago withdrew a identical ordinance that licensed the police to act versus “humiliating” information online immediately after widespread political condemnation of the move.

Textual content of Bihar’s letter criminalizing criticism

Punjab Kesari acquired a copy of the January 21 letter, written in Hindi. Under is a translation by MediaNama.

Patna, Day: 21/01/2021

Nayyar Hasnain Khan
Added Director Common of Police
Financial Offences Device
Patna, Bihar

All Principal Secretaries/Secretaries to the Government
Patna, Bihar

Subject matter: With regard to offensive remarks about federal government officers designed by unscrupulous individuals/organizations on social media


On the above matter, stories preserve coming to light-weight that some people today/businesses are building offensive/indecent reviews on social media about honorable ministers, associates of parliament, MLAs, and government officers. This is illegal and falls beneath the classification of cybercrime. Legal proceedings from this kind of persons and businesses is acceptable. It is well worth noting that the Economic Offences Unit is also the nodal business for cybercrime.

As these types of, upon cognizance of issues of this mother nature, you are requested to notify, and furnish detailed facts thereof to, the Economic Offences Device at Patna, so that after investigation, the Device can acquire legal action towards the [offending] persons/companies.

(Nayyar Hasnain Khan)