Pildat concerned over electronic crimes bill
ISLAMABAD: An analysis, conducted by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Democracy and Transparency (Pildat), of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015, has raised concern about various clauses of the proposed legislation.
The analysis’ proposed legislation is currently pending before Parliament.The major concerns raised on various clauses of the legislation, especially relating to its possible abuse, maintaining that much of the criticism and apprehensions expressed may appear to be on account of lack of information about the contents of the legislation.
Pildat maintains that Parliament will do much better to circulate the text of the Bill for eliciting public opinion ahead of debating it in Parliament. A legitimate apprehension relates to the power given to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to remove and block websites under the proposed legislation.
The government has not yet come out with prescribed standards and procedures for doing so. These should either form part of the main Act or notified in the form of rules simultaneously with enactment of the Act. Pildat also proposes that Section 42 of the bill, relating to the right of appeal, needs to specify the Court before whom the appeal lies.
The analysis says that there may be constitutional challenges to the proposed Act based on fundamental rights relating to life, privacy, freedom of speech and freedom of information. “Such challenges may result in further safeguards mandated by the superior courts in relation to implementation of the proposed Act,” it said. The brief has been authored by the renowned lawyer, Shahid Hamid, at the request of Pildat.