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Punjab Assembly passes controversial Defamation Bill 2024

he SIC members tore apart copies of the bill after the house passed it through a voice vote.

The Punjab Assembly has passed the controversial defamation law rejecting all amendments proposed by the opposition amid protests by the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council and journalists covering parliamentary proceedings.

Punjab Finance Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman on Monday tabled “The Punjab Defamation Bill 2024”, in a session that started after a delay of more than two hours with Speaker Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan in the chair.

The opposition and journalists protested against the bill which aims at preventing the spread of false, fabricated and fictitious news through print, electronic and social media in the province. 

Opposition Leader Ahmed Khan Bhachar, speaking on the Punjab Assembly floor, said that the bill is a “black law” and his side of the bench would not be partake in passing the legislation.

The Punjab Defamation Bill 2024

Under the Punjab Defamation Bill 2024, a defamation case can be filed against those spreading ‘fake news’.

The bill also proposes a fine of up to Rs3 million and special tribunals to hear defamation cases, which will be required to deliver verdicts within six months.

The bill addresses the pervasive issue of misinformation on social media platforms, including YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Under the bill, a defamation case can be filed on those spreading ‘fake news’.

The bill also proposes a fine of up to Rs3 million and special tribunals to hear defamation cases, which will be required to deliver verdicts within six months.

The bill also mentioned that in cases of allegations against individuals holding constitutional posts, the high court will hear the cases.

Furthermore, the government will provide legal assistance to women and transgender individuals in defamation cases through an official legal team.

 

 

 

Saman Siddiqui

I am a freelance journalist, holding a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and an MS in Peace and Conflict Studies, associated with the electronic media industry since 2006 in various capacities. Here at OyeYeah, I cover a range of genres, from journalism to fiction to fashion, including reviews, and fact findings. 

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