Section 114A basically presumes that a person who is depicted in a publication as owner or administrator is presumed to have published the contents. This effectively means that those named in publications are presumed guilty of any offending content that may be posted, including those on the Internet where there is no licensing and it is easy to use some other person’s name, photograph and details as the originator. It makes that person liable for any action taken under our current defamation and sedition laws. 

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  
12/13/2012 10:38:06 pm

A good view is given about the above mentioned aspect. I also think the vital question to be raised would be human rights, as it plays a major role in any circumstances.


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law of evidence