Text of Defamation Bill 2004
ISLAMABAD – Following is the ful1 text of the Defamation Bill 2004 passed by the National Assembly as recommended by the Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights.
A Bill to amend the defamation Ordinance, 2002 the Pakistan Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.
WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the Defamation Ordinance, 2002 (LVI of 2002), the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 860) and the Code or Criminal Procedure, 1698 (Act V of 1896), for the purpose hereinafter appearing;
1. Short title and commencement. (1) This Act may be called the Defamation (Amendment) Act, 2004. (2) It shall come into force at once.
2. Amendment of Section, Ordinance LVI of 2002. In the Defamation Ordinance, 2002 (LVI of 2002), hereinafter referred to as the said Ordinance, in section 2.
(i) clause (a) shall be omitted;
(ii) after clause (b), the following new clause shall be inserted, namely;- “(bb)” “Court” means the District Court; and
(iii) after clause (d), the following new clause shall be inserted, namely:- “(dd)” “originator” means the initiator of a defamatory statement or any other defamatory act”.
3. Insertion of new section 4-4, Ordinance LVI of 2002 shall be omitted.
4. Amendment of section 9, Ordinance LVI of 2002.- In the said Ordinance, in section 9,-
(i) the words “or stall undergo three months imprisonment” shall be omitted; and
(ii) for the full stop at the end, a colon shall be substituted and thereafter the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:- “Provided that in case of the originator the minimum compensatory damages as general damages shall be rupees three hundred thousand.”
5. Substitution of section 13, Ordinance LVI of 2002.’- In the said ordinance, for section 13, the following shall be substituted, namely;
“13. Trial of cases.-The District Court shall have the jurisdiction to try the cases under this Ordinance.”
6. Amendment of section 14, Ordinance LVI of 2002 – In the said Ordinance, for section 14, for the words “six months” the words “ninety days” shall be substituted.
7. Substation of section 15, Ordinance LVI of 2002.- In the said Ordinance, for section 15, the following shall be substituted, namely;-
“15, Appeal.- An appeal against the final decision and decree of the Court shall lie to the High Court within thirty days and the High Court shall decide the appeal within sixty days:
Provided no appeal shall lie against an interlocutory order of the Court.”
8. Substitution of section 500, Act XLV of 1860.- In the Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860), hereinafter referred to as the said Code, in section 500, for the full stop at the end, a colon shall be substituted and thereafter the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:-
“Provided that the originator of the defamatory imputation shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine which shall not be less than rupees one hundred thousand, or with both.
Explanation.- “Originator” means the initiator of a defamatory imputation.”
9. Amendment of section 501, Act-XLV of 1860-shall be omitted.
10. Insertion of new section; Act XLV of 1860.- In the said Code, after section 502, the following new section shall be inserted, namely:-
“502A. Trial of offences under this Chapter.- Notwithstanding anything contained in the code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898), the Court of Session shall have the jurisdiction to try an offence under this Chapter and decide it within a period of ninety days.”
11. Amendment of Schedule II, Act V of 1898.- In the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898), in Schedule II, for entries relating to sections 500 and 501, the following shall be substituted, namely:-
“500, Defamation, Shall not arrest without warrant, Warrant, Bailable, Compoundab1e, Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both, and in case of originator the imprisonment of either description for 5 years, or fine, or both, Court of Session.
“501, Printing engraving matter knowing it to the defamatory, Shall not arrest without warrant, Warrant, Bailable, Compoundable, Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both, Court of Session.
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS: Defaming a person is a crime no less heinous than murder, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) equates it to eating the flesh of one’s own brother. It is, therefore, the obligation of the STATE to protect the dignity, reputation and the esteem in which a person is held, from any false and wanton accusation. Law of defamation is the part of the jurisprudence of every religion and every civilization. Further Quran says “those who love (to see) scandal broadcast among the believer, will have a grievous penalty in this life and in hereafter”.
2. Under Article 14 of the Constitution of Pakistan the dignity of man and, subject to law, the privacy of home, is inviolable. Modern law is giving extensive recognition to this right and Islam in particular lays great emphasis on the protection of privacy, honour and reputation.
3. Presently, we have the Defamation Ordinance, 2002 and the provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code dealing with defamation (sections 499 to 502). It is observed that there is general tendency to scandalize and defame others including public figures whereby perceptible injury to their reputation is caused, either for ulterior motive or through irresponsible conduct. Therefore, it is necessary and need of the turn to amend the Defamation Ordinance, 2002 and Pakistan Penal Code. This amendment is aimed at curbing this menace.
The bill is designed to achieve the aforesaid objects.
Source: Business Recorder