President promulgates ordinance making fake news non-bailable offence

News Desk: 

President Dr. Arif Alvi has promulgated an ordinance, which has declared fake news as a non-bailable offense in the country. The development comes a day after the federal cabinet gave approval for a presidential ordinance to amend the Peca, 2016. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the approval for the ordinance was sought through circulation.

The ordinance, a copy of which is available with Quetta Voice, has been called the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022 and “shall come into force at once”.

An amendment has been made in Section 20 of Peca, increasing the jail term for defaming any person or institution from three years to five years.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, the law minister said the complainant can seek defamation and criminal proceedings against the accused since now it has become a cognizable offense.

According to Naseem, the government amended the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 to penalize fake news as “lies cannot be allowed to become the foundation of a society.”

He said the fake news is spread at the behest of foreign powers, particularly India, in a bid to create instability in Pakistan.

The minister also referred to the news report against an alleged rift between Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi, and said “this law will put an end to such news reports.”

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.