The National Assembly on Tuesday passed two private member bills including the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill, 2021 as reported by the standing committees.
The bills were piloted by Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali and Dr Nafisa Shah in the House respectively.
The statement of objects and reasons of the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 says that a few people are involved in blasphemy on the internet and social media etc. and they upload such pages and messages covertly.
However, due to Capital Punishment in section 298c, the ratio of people involved in blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is very low. The fact may be observed that disrespecting the companion of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and other sacred personalities not only promotes terrorism and disruption in the country but also hurts people belonging to all walks of life.
In section 298-A of the Pakistan Penal Code, the punishment against the person who disrespects the wives, family and companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), is imprisonment for a minimum of three years period along with a nominal penalty while this is a bailable crime.
Due to this simple punishment, the criminals, despite, the punishment, commit the same crime again.
Hence, due to such simple punishment, the people try on their own to punish the criminal which increases the violence.
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“It is the responsibility of Parliament to review all factors through which terrorist activities promote and prosper within Pakistan by comprehending this matter with sensitivity and seriousness.”
Moreover, some crimes mentioned in the list of crimes are very lesser in nature than disrespect of Ummahat-ul-Momineen, Ahle-Bait, Khulfa-e-Rashideen and Sahaba-e-Kiram but their punishments are more than that mentioned in section 295-A of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
The punishment under section 381 of PPC is imprisonment for ten years and a minor punishment has been provided for those who defame Ummahat-ul-Momineen, Ahle-Bait, Khulfa-e-Rashideen and Sahaba-e-Kiram as compared to that provided in section 298-A of the PPC.
The statement of object and reasons of the bill moved by Dr Nafeesa Shah says that the Provincial Bar Councils are statutory organisations, responsible for safeguarding the rights, interests and privileges of practising lawyers, regulating their conduct and helping in the administration of justice. The bill intends to increase the number of members of the Sindh Bar Council, from Khairpur District from 1 to 2.