LAHORE: The country’s top judge on Saturday urged the government to introduce strict laws to deal with cybercrime in the country.
“There is a general impression that cybercrimes occur on Facebook and WhatsApp only and that is wrong,” Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed said while addressing a seminar on cybercrime organised by the Punjab Judicial Academy at a hotel.
“There is a lot of work being done on to curb cybercrimes across the world and the Pakistani government needs to pay serious attention to this issue as well,” he added.
The CJP noted that the first law in the country against cybercrime was introduced in 2016, adding that there had not been much progress after that.
“We hope that our women and other people who fall prey to online blackmailing and other cybercrimes will be provided will quick relief.”
Justice Gulzar stressed the need for authorities to distinguish between ordinary crimes and cybercrimes.
“People who use cell phones and computers for both positive and negative reasons need counselling,” he added. “Non-governmental organisations would have to play their role for this purpose.”
Speaking at the event, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh said the enforcement of cyber laws in this digital era was essential.
He observed that laws against cybercrimes already existed in the country but the law enforcement agencies were not trained to implement them.
“Information technology and digital business have changed our lives," he added.
He also pointed out that people in Pakistan were generally unaware of cyber laws and it was necessary to educate them. “Victims of cybercrimes are usually undergoing mental torture and are embarrassed to lodge their complaints with the authorities.”
Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan, Justice Shahid Waheed, Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, Justice Malik Shehzad Ahmed, Justice Mujahid Mustqeem Ahmed, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh, Advocate General Punjab Ahmed Jamal Sukhera and Punjab Judicial Academy Director General Habibullah Amir were among those who attended the event.
According to experts, The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ac, 2016 (PECA), which was introduced to control cybercrime, provide protection to women and curb hate speech, has not been used to serve the intended purposes.
They say that cases registered under the Act have been “delayed, misused and neglected by the Federal Investigation Agency.
The procedure for registering cases under PECA is quite vague. Instead of registering PECA cases only under a specific law, pertaining to crimes in online space and electronic media, in most instances, additional sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) are added to the FIR.
(With additional input from APP)
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