NA Body approves bill to prevent disrespect against forces

ISLAMABAD (APP): National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2020 on Wednesday aimed to prevent hatred and disrespectful behavior against the armed forces.

During 34th meeting of the Standing Committee on Interior held under the Chairmanship of MNA Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz, the bill titled “the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (Section 500 A)” was considered. After detailed discussion, the Committee recommended that the bill may be passed by the National Assembly. The Chairman of the Standing committee, Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz, broke the 5-5 vote tie by voting in favour of the proposed bill

The bill proposes amendments in the Pakistan Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure. The proposed insertion of section 500A shall penalize 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 upto two years, or fined for up to five hundred thousand rupees. The bill was sponsored by PTI lawmaker Amjad Ali Khan and was referred to the Standing Committee on Interior on September 15, 2020 after its introduction in the National Assembly.

The Committee deferred five other private members bills which 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 meeting considered a point of order raised by Sahibzada Sibghatullah regarding killing of laborers of Swat and Dir by terrorists. The Committee recommended that compensation may be granted to the victim families, and also desired report from the Balochistan Government in next meeting.

The Committee was briefed about the steps taken by Islamabad Police to control drug peddling activities especially Ice. The Committee expressed concern over use of narcotics by students in educational institutions. It was decided to hold a separate meeting with all stakeholders including Ministry of Industries, Pakistan Customs, M/o Narcotics, ICT Police and Chief Secretaries & IGs of all provinces to check this menace.

Difficulties faced by public in getting Electricity connections in rural Islamabad were discussed. The Committee directed CDA and IESCO to immediately provide electricity connections to people in rural Islamabad, as also directed by the Islamabad High Court.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Sher Akbar Khan, Rahat Aman Ullah Bhatti, Malik Karamat Ali Khokhar, Ms. Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak, .Mohammad Pervaiz Malik,  Nadeem Abbas, Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Syed Agha Rafiullah, Amjad Ali Khan, Sahibzada Sibghatullah and the senior officers from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Law and Justice, ICT Police, Passport and Immigration, NADRA, FIA and CDA.