NA Standing committee calls for objections on cybercrime bill (PEC Bill)

ISLAMABAD ( ABRAR MUSTAFA )

The Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology has invited the general public and other stakeholders to send in their written objections on the relevant clauses of the modified draft of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill, 2015 (PEC Bill) along with proposed amendments and justification for such amendments within a period of seven days. The objections along with proposed amendments can be sent via email at [email protected] or through post to Secretary, National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Technology, National Assembly, Islamabad. The modified draft of the Bill is available on the websites of the National Assembly (www.na.gov.pk) and Ministry of IT (www.moit.gov.pk).

The Chairman Standing Committee while upholding true spirit of democracy has decided to call for written suggestions on the PEC Bill from stakeholders and general public. The Chairman stated that Standing Committees being eyes and ears of the Parliament shall assist the Parliament in true spirit of the Constitution. He also stated that a wrong perception was being created in the media that the National Assembly was making any law against the freedom of expression or social media. On the contrary, he stated, the Standing Committee is working to protect the freedom of expression and therefore, is calling for submission of objections on the Bill from the general public.

He said that a consensus draft of the PEC Bill had been prepared by the Government in consultation with all the stakeholders spanning over dozens of meetings during the last three years.  The consensus draft of PEC Bill was referred to the National Assembly Standing Committee on IT by the National Assembly, after its introduction by the Government earlier this year. The Standing Committee held a number of meetings to discuss the Bill. The Committee made changes in the PEC Bill, after its clause by clause review.  However, before finalizing its report on the Bill and sending it back to the National Assembly, the Committee wants to consider the objections (if any) on the amendments proposed in the PEC Bill. He urged the general public and stakeholders to send their concrete suggestions along with proposed amendments and justifications for the same in order to make this process more constructive.

He further stated that once the written input is received from the general public and stakeholders the same will be analyzed by the Committee and thereafter, the Committee may also hold a public hearing on the Bill in order to make an informed decision.

The above may be issued to media, as desired by the Hon’ble Chairman.

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