Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2016 passed by NA
ISLAMABAD: (APP) The National Assembly on Monday passed the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2016 with an aim to strengthening criminal justice system for protection of people and prevention of acts threatening security of Pakistan.
The bill adopted unanimously by the House focuses on actions against those promoting sectarianism, hurting religious sentiments and inflicting punishment on individuals or groups and forcing girl children or non-Muslim women to marriage.
Under this bill, whoever with deliberate intention of wounding or outraging the religious feelings of any person or inciting religious, sectarian or ethnic hatred, utters any words by using loudspeaker or sound amplifier or any other device or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or persons, shall be punishable with an imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years but not less than one year or with Rs 500,000 fine or both.
This bill also provides that in case a female child as defined in the Child Marriage Restraint Act or a non-Muslim woman is forced to marriage, the accused shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years but shall not be less than five years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to Rs one million.
In case of hate speeches or assertions meant for hurting others religious sentiments, this bill also includes sectarianism and hate speech and proliferation of hate material by any person, organized groups or proscribed organizations; in its provisions and states that a previous penalty of three months salary or to imprisonment with hard labour for three months has been substituted with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with afine worth Rs one million.
Meanwhile, the bill also means to amend certain clauses and sections by enhancing punishments like in section 182, seven years punishment in case the offence in which false information is given is punishable with death; five years imprisonment in case in which false information is given is punishable with imprisonment for life; and one-fourth of the longest term of imprisonment or with fine as is provided for the offence in which false information is given and such offence is not covered under two earlier mentioned clauses.
The bill also states that conviction on the basis of modern devices or techniques may be lawful.
About lynching, this bill states whenever any individual, an organized group or a mob taking law in their own hands inflict punishment on a person accused or suspected of a crime by causing him a hurt or his death, every individual, a member of such group or mob is said to commit lynching.
Furthermore, the bill states that whoever commits lynching shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both in addition to any other punishment to which he may be liable under any other law for the time being in force.