Government to Table Cyber Crime Bill in National Assembly Today

The government is all set to move “the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill, 2015” in the National Assembly today.

Anusha Rehman Khan will move the Bill and it’s going to be taken into consideration at once. The Amendments will be entered in a separate list and moved.

Chairman Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication Capt. (Retd) Muhammad Safdar presented his report on “Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill, 2015” before the Lower House of the Parliament on December 11, 2015.

Once the National Assembly passes the Bill, it’ll be sent to the Senate of Pakistan and later on, the Senate Standing Committee on IT. The final discussion will be held once the Bill reaches the Senate. After the Upper House of the Parliament concludes its discussion, the Bill will be presented for voting and will be passed with simple majority.

The latest draft of bill was prepared by the current government in Feb 2014, but it was shelved twice due to opposition from civil society and activists. MoIT, after several months’ wait, slightly amended the bill and presented it in the National Assembly.

The Government is in majority in the National Assembly and may not face tough time on the proposed law and pass it easily. However the government will require support of other parties in the Senate to pass the Bill and may find it more difficult.

The controversial Cyber Crime Bill is likely to face resistance from opposition parties, mainly the Pakistan Peoples Part and Muthahida Qaumi Movement, as hinted by their senior leaders.

Raza Rabbani, Chairman Senate had earlier demanded that the entire bill be scraped and a new draft be prepared while keeping in mind the input from all stakeholders. “The Cyber Crime Bill won’t be passed unless it is made acceptable to all stakeholders”, stated Rabbani in a Senate session.

MQM is aiming to block certain clauses of the recently drafted Cyber Crime Bill that is awaiting approval from National Assembly and ultimately from the Senate to formally become a law in Pakistan. MQM has proposed at least four amendments in the cyber crime bill.

You can take a detailed look at the Cyber Crime Bill for Pakistan, and some of its controversial points, here.

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