Govt All Set To Enact Strict Law To Halt Defamation Campaign Against Institutions

Govt All Set To Enact Strict Law To Halt Defamation Campaign Against Institutions

The federal government is all set to adopt strict measures to culminate a defamation campaign against the state institutions, including the judiciary, army and other constitutional organizations.

This decision has been made while keeping in mind the ongoing campaign of a former ruling political party against state institutions.

According to sources, a draft of the legislation has been prepared to amend the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). The guilty will be sentenced to five-year imprisonment.

The Ministry of Interior Affairs has authored the bill. Currently, the Ministry of Law and Justice is engaged in its fine-tuning, after which it will be submitted to the prime minister for putting it before the cabinet.

The sources pointed out that the bill titled Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2023, suggests a new section 500A in PPC 1860 which is titled "intentional ridiculing or scandalizing of the state institutions, etc".

The legislation provides that "whoever makes, publishes, circulates, or disseminates any statement, through any medium, with an intention to ridicule or scandalize the judiciary, the armed forces or any of their member will be guilty of an offense punishable with simple imprisonment for a term, which may extend to five years or with a fine which may extend to Rs1 million, or with both."

Moreover, the offender will be arrested without a warrant and the offense will be non-bailable.

According to the cabinet summary, the country witnessed a deliberate cyber campaign to incite and nurture hatred against state institutions and their officials."

The summary further mentions that judicial and army officials do not have the opportunity to step forward and refute scandalous remarks while appearing in the media.