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Senate rejects Anti-Terror Bill with majority vote

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Senate on Wednesday rejected the Anti-Terrorism (3rd Amendment) Bill, 2020 with majority vote as 31 lawmakers voted in its favor and 34 lawmakers opposed it.

The bill was tabled in the last sitting (September 14) by an Independent lawmaker Sajjad Hussain Turi and considered by the House as supplementary business. PPPP lawmakers Raza Rabbani, Sherry Rehman and JUI-F Senator Atta ur Rehman opposed the immediate tabling of the private members’ bill on government business day and demanded to defer its introduction till next sitting.

However, the Chair allowed to table the motion for introduction of the bill after consent of Leader of the House Shahzad Waseem.

On Wednesday, the bill appeared on the agenda for immediate consideration and passage but was rejected by the House with majority vote.

The bill seeks to insert section 19C after section 19B in the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

The new section 19C is about application of investigation techniques and states that “ the investigation officer, may with the permission of court, within sixty days of such permission, use techniques including undercover operation, intercepting communications, accessing computer system and controlled delivery for investigation of financing of terrorism under the law in force.

The aforementioned period of sixty days may be extended upto further period of sixty days by the Court on a request made to it in writing. The Court may grant extension, if it is satisfied, on the basis of situation/reasons given in the written request. The provision of this sub-section shall be addition to and not in derogation of any other law for the time being in force.

The federal government may make rules to regulate the procedure and execution of orders for the purpose of this section. According to Statement of Objects and Reasons,” Terror financing is one of the major obstacle which is not only playing a degrading role against the development of a country but also imbuing such elements with the financial means which are an ultimate threat against the internal and external peace of the country and the allies to the extent.

The genuine purpose behind the introduction of this Bill is to enable the law enforcement authorities via aforementioned insertion to take certain encountering techniques with an authoritative support of the Courts of Law to curb with these menaces”.

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