Nobody can be charged under this action provides a new presumption of fact. A person can still be charged under other existing laws covering sedition, defamation and so on. It can be construed that the applications of law of sedition and defamation have been extended to the internet as well. The amendment is basically about what can be adduced as evidence and shifts the burden to the accused in either civil or criminal case. If a person posts something that is defamatory or seditious, that particular person is open to a legal action. The circle of liability is widened with the new amendments. It shows a need for being more responsible and accountability on the internet. Even though, it’s a platform to voice out but must always remember that with great powers comes great responsibility.
Besides that, there is a strange reversal of law and principle of “An accused person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty” when accused is required to proof his innocence, instead of the prosecution having to prove his guilt. It reverses the burden to proof and also goes against a fundamental principle of law that a person is considered innocent until proven guilty as provided for under Article 11(1) of the UDHR. It also violates the human rights principles of freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Section 114A have been heavily criticised by Internet users and civil society groups that resulted in a day long protest campaign called Stop 114A organised by Centre for Independent Journalism on August 14.
PREPARED BY : KIRUBINI A/P G.SUBRAMANIAM A130056