Cyber Crime Bill to Face Opposition in Senate

The Opposition in the Senate of Pakistan is all set to give tough time to the government on the controversial “Electronic Crimes Bill 2015”.

Chairman Senate of Pakistan Raza Rabbani has referred the “Electronic Crimes Bill 2015” to the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication.

The committee is required to consider and review the Electronic Crimes Bill 2015 and report to the Senate of Pakistan within 30 working days.

The committee is going to meet on May 24 to consider the Bill. However opposition members are set to give a tough time to the government on the proposed legislation, as it contains some controversial parts.

Also Read: Cyber Crimes and Their Punishments

Talking to this correspondent, Senator Rubina Khalid of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), who is also member of the IT committee, blasted the proposed legislation because it’s full of flaws.

She said, “The “Electronic Crimes Bill 2015” will need to be re-drafted. It is full of flaws and only recommendations will not work to improve it”. She further stated that the Bill was passed in the National Assembly at a time, when the opposition was on strike.

It is worth mentioning that the Electronic Crimes Bill 2015 was approved by the National Assembly of Pakistan last month. It has been submitted to the Senate which further referred it to the Senate Standing Committee. After its recommendations, the Bill would be transmitted back to the Senate for voting.

It is also worth mentioning that only 30 out of 342 National Assembly members were present for the vote on the critical Cyber Crime Bill.

Also read: Only 30 out of 342 NA Members Were Present for Vote on Cyber Crime Bill

Civil societies and IT industry stakeholders have serious reservations over some clauses of the bill. For instance, Section 31 of the proposed law would allow the government to block access to any website “in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality.

But it is not defined who is to decide what undermines the integrity of Pakistan, or its relations with other states.