NA panel passes bill preventing hatred against military

Chairman Nawaz breaks tie by voting in favour of bill


APP April 08, 2021
PHOTO: APP/FILE

A lower house panel on Wednesday passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2020, aimed at preventing hatred and disrespectful behaviour against the armed forces.

After a detailed discussion, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior recommended that the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2020 may be passed by the lower house.

Standing Committee Chairman Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz broke the 5-5 vote tie by voting in favour of the proposed bill, which was sponsored by PTI lawmaker Amjad Ali Khan.

The bill proposes amendments in the Pakistan Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. “The proposed insertion of Section 500A shall penalise the intentional ridiculing and defaming of the Armed Forces of Pakistan or any its member. A person guilty of such offence will be punished with imprisonment for a term up to two years, or fined for up to five hundred thousand rupees.”

The bill was referred to the standing committee on interior on September 15, 2020, after its introduction in the NA.

The panel deferred five other private members bills that were the National Database and Registration Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020; the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Section 298); the National Database and Registration Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Section 35); the Islamabad Rent Restriction (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Section 11) and the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Section 375).

The panel also considered a point of order raised by Sahibzada Sibghatullah regarding the killing of labourers of Swat and Dir by terrorists. It recommended that compensation may be granted to the victim families, and also desired a report from the Balochistan government in the next meeting.

Moreover, the committee was briefed about the steps taken by Islamabad police to control drug peddling activities, especially ice. APP

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