5 Years in Prison for Whoever Insults Army or Judiciary, Govt Proposes New Bill - Capital TV

June 4, 2023


5 Years in Prison for Whoever Insults Army or Judiciary, Govt Proposes New Bill

Mahnoor Tariq

ISLAMABAD: On Feb 5, the federal government introduced a bill to alter the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The measure seeks to sentence anyone insulting Pakistan Army or judiciary to up to five years in prison. 

About the bill:

The bill has been drafted by the Ministry of Law and Justice. It was initiated by The Interior Ministry for the prime minister.

Lately, social media has been crammed with criticism about the army and courts. A cabinet summary in this regard explained the goal behind the soon-to-be presented measure. It further states that the offender would be detained without a warrant and that the offence will be non-bailable.

The penalties:

The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act of 2023 proposed a new section named ‘intentional mocking or scandalising of the state institutions’ to PPC 1860. It states that violators are subject to a five-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs.1 million. Both penalties can be implemented as well for disseminating bogus information about state institutions.

Why it matters:

The bill looks forward to tackle the wave of social media campaigns against army and judicial leaders. The ministry thinks such cyber campaigns have been launched ‘on purpose’ to foster hate against state institutions.

Pakistanis’ opinion:

The bill is condemned by prominent political figures like PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The former Prime Minister told a news publication he won’t support any draconian legislation.

Former Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari termed it as ‘final blow to democracy.’

Pakistanis also expressed their views, opposing the bill as they believe it’s a step forward towards fascism.

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