ISLAMABAD - The PTI’s government in Tuesday’s National Assembly session introduced ‘The Criminal Law (Amendment) bill, 2020’, which is aimed to make intentionally ridiculing and defaming the Armed Forces as a punishable crime.

According to the bill, moved by Amjad Ali Khan, the Insertion of ne section 500A, [Act XLV of 1850], “500A intentional ridiculing of the Armed Forces- Whosoever intentionally ridicules , brings into disrepute or defames the Armed forces or a member , therefore he shall be guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to Rs 500,000”.

According to the bill introduced in a supplementary agenda, “the offence will be punishable with two years imprisonment or Rs 0.5 million fine or with both,”.

The statement of objects and reasons of the bill says, “This bill proposes amendments in the Pakistan Penal code and the code of criminal procedure. The proposed insertion of the section 500 A shall penalized the intentional ridiculing and defaming of the Armed Forces or any of its member. A person guilty of such offense will be punished with imprisonment for a term up to two year or fine for upto Rs 500,000. The purpose of this amendment is to prevent hatred and disrespectful behaviour against the Armed Forces. Strict action should be taken against those bringing this repute to the Armed Forces institution in accordance with the law,”.

The house also passed ‘the Anti-Terrorism (third amendment) bill, 2020’. The government got a motion passed for moving and passage of the same as supplementary agenda in the house.

The government faced resistance for passing the bill as the Opposition was interested to hold debate on it.

This bill would allow an Investigation Officer with permission of the court, use techniques using undercover operation, intercepting communications, accessing computer system and controlled delivery for investigation of financing of terrorism within 60 days of permission under the law in force. The court, however, on written request of the investigation officer shall extend period of permission for using techniques to investigate terror financing for another 60 days.

DEBATE ON MOTORWAY INCIDENT 

The house for the second consecutive day continued debate on Motorway rape incident.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry voiced in the favour of public hanging of culprits. “Such punishment would help reducing the incident in the country,” he said mentioning that there was a need of reforms in the judicial system. 

Maulana Akbar Chitrali, taking part in debate, said that there was a need to include Islamic punishment in Zainab alert bill. These punishments could help reducing the heinous crimes in the country. “A person was hanged in Gen.Zia era and no incident of this nature happened in 10 years,” he said.

Minister Zartaj Gul said that there should not be point scoring on such sensitive issues in the house. She said that even objectionable words were used in the parliament by some members. “We [Lawmakers] need to resolve gaps in the law to help reducing the criminal incidents,” she said.

Former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that there were many flaws in the system. “There is a need to give exemplary punishment to the criminals,” he said. 

ANP’s MNA Ameer Haider Hoti said that there was a need to take action against Police official. He proposed to send the matter in the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to resolve this matter. He said that there was a need of legislation to stop such heinous crime.

Earlier, Parliamentary secretary for interior ministry informed that a special task force has been working to control begging in the country. “Law enforcement agencies in plain clothes working in different areas , which have also busted gangs ,” said parliamentary secretary  informing that eight police officials have been found involve in running gangs of begging mafia. A task force has been established to register cases against professional beggars.

Advisor on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, responding to call-attention notice about floods and heavy rains, informed that 136 persons have died. Over 35 percent extra rains recorded as compared to the previous years in the country. “There is no need to enter in the debate of federal area and provinces, as we have to jointly deal with natural calamities,” he said.

PPP-P’s Shazia Marri , on point of order, said that NDMA has badly failed to deal with rains affected areas in Sindh. “There is a need of help in 20 districts of Sindh, which has been declared as disaster-hit areas,” she said.

Another PPP-P MNA Yousaf Talpur said that Sindh have always been ignored by the centre. “A step-motherly treatment is being made with Sindh,” he said, mentioning that there was a need to deal with issue in a special committee.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri referred the matter regarding rains and floods related losses to the concerned Standing Committee.