Fake news spreaders face five-year jail, says law minister

Farogh Naseem says ordinances regarding election code and PECA have been enforced: Says MQM not involved in race for getting ministries: Dares opposition to bring no-trust motion against PM Khan

By: News Desk
Published: 02:40 PM, 20 Feb, 2022
Fake news spreaders face five-year jail, says law minister
Caption: TV grab.
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Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem on Sunday announced that Ordinances regarding the election code of conduct and Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) have been enforced and the people who spread fake news can now be sent to prison for up to five years, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Addressing a news conference in Karachi, Farogh Naseem declared that there would be no exemption for the fake news spreaders. “Their cases will be concluded within six months and they cannot apply for bail. The judge will also face action if he cannot satisfy the high court about the delay in the case,” he added.

The law minister said this law, necessary to deal with the fake news, was not in conflict with the Constitution. The media can criticize the government as hard as it wants to but there should be no fake news, he added.

The minister said the Ordinance regarding amendment to Election Act has been formulated by Dr Babar Awan, while amendments to the PECA have been drafted by him.

He ruled out the impression of slapping curbs on media and added that government believes in the expression of freedom but only want to end the spreading of fake news.

The amended act will also pave way for action over hate speech and fake news against the national institutions including the armed forces and national figures.

While talking about the current political situation, the law minister who belongs to MQM said his party was not involved in the race for obtaining ministries. 

“If opposition has majority, it should bring no-confidence motion,” Naseem added. 

On the other hand, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman castigated government for promulgating the Peca Ordinance through presidential ordinance. 

She tweeted on Sunday: “In its bid to shut down dissent even further the Government is using another presidential ordinance to amend cybercrime laws that will be sweeping and draconian in scope. Make no mistake, this is not about protecting the vulnerable from cyber predations; quite the opposite.” #gagorderlaw

PPP Senator Saleem Mandviwalla on Sunday also rejected the Peca and election code ordinances asking government to stop relying on legislations in order to protect its own interests. 

He accused government of stealing elections by bringing amendments to the Election Act. He further said that the Peca Ordinance was tantamount to gag people’s voice. He vowed to oppose government’s attempt to snatch people’s rights and stifle their opinion.