Pakistan prepares bill to award five-year term jail to those criticising army, judiciary

An aeral view of Minar E Pakistan. [Photo: Wikimedia]

The government of Pakistan has prepared a bill that would award five years jail term to anyone criticizing or ridiculing the army or judiciary of the country.

Quoting a draft bill, the Pakistan news organization, Dawn, reported that the bill was vetted by the country’s Ministry of Law and Justice and initiated by the Ministry of Interior for the prime minister and federal cabinet.

The bill came amid criticism seen on social media sites against the army of Pakistan and the country’s courts.

The report quoting sources in the Ministry of Interior, said that the summary and the bill will be forwarded to the federal cabinet soon.

Titled Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2023, the bill suggests a new section 500A after section 500 in PPC 1860. The new section is titled ‘Intentional ridiculing or scandalising of the state institutions etc.’

According to the report, the law states that whoever makes, publishes, circulates any statement or disseminates information, through any medium, with an intention to ridicule or scandalise the judiciary, the armed forces or any of their member will be guilty of an offence punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or with a fine which may extend to Rs1 million or with both.

The bill further states that the offender will be arrested without a warrant and the offence will be non-bailable and non-compoundable which can only be challenged in a sessions court.

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