NA committee on information chief concerned at PECA Amendment Act

Javed Latif lashes out at govt ‘bid to muzzle media and quell criticism’ 

By: News Desk
Published: 11:30 PM, 20 Feb, 2022
NA committee on information chief concerned at PECA Amendment Act
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The chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting, Mian Javed Latif, has expressed concerns over the PECA Amendment Act, 24NewsHD TV channel reported on Sunday.

The Pakistan Media Development Authority Bill is being implemented through this ordinance, Javed Latif said adding that such steps damage the reform process in a society.

The act reflects the authorities’ bid want to muzzle the media, he said and took a swipe at the PTI government for what he called inflicting big damage on democratic norms.

The lawmaker said Imran Khan has come to know that he has no future in democracy. 

He continued: “The ordinance contradicts the fundamental right to freedom of expression. We will not allow any legislation against personal freedoms and basic human rights.”

President Dr Arif Alvi signed the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) Amendment Bill and Election Act Amendment Ordinance (EAAO).

The PECA Amendment Act includes the definition of a person, which includes a person, a company, an association, an institution or an authority, while the amendment bill increases the imprisonment for attacking the identity of any person from 3 to 5 years.

As per the ordinance, the aggrieved party, who will be the representative or guardian of the complainant, has been declared a felony and the offense is non-bailable.

The amendment bill states that the trial court will decide the case within six months and will submit the details of the case to the High Court every month.

The ordinance states that federal and provincial governments and officials will be asked to remove obstacles. The Chief Justice of each High Court will nominate a judge and officers for these cases.

Under the EAAO, the members of all assemblies, senates, and local governments will be able to speak during the election campaign, and any public office holder and an elected representative will be able to visit the constituency.