Defaming Armed Forces and Judiciary Will Get You 5-Year Jail Term Soon

The federal government is mulling over criminalizing acts of maligning the armed forces and judiciary by amending the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1898.

In this regard, the Interior Ministry has forwarded the summary of a bill titled “Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2023” to the federal cabinet for final approval. The Ministry of Law and Justice has already vetted the draft of the bill.

According to official documents available with ProPakistani, once ratified by the federal government, the following section will be inserted in Section 500 of the PPC 1860:

500A. Intentional ridiculing or scandalizing of the State Institutions etc. – Whoever makes, publishes, circulates any statement or disseminates information, through any medium, with an intention to ridicule, or scandalize the Judiciary or the Armed Forces of Pakistan or member thereof, as the case may be, shall be guilty of an offense punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may be extended to five years, or with fine which may extend to one million rupees, or with both.

The following section will be inserted in Schedule II of the CrPC 1898:

Section Offenses Whether the police may arrest without warrant or not Whether a warrant or a summon shall ordinarily he issued in the first instance Whether bailable or not Whether compoundable Punishment under the PPC By what court trialable
500A Intentional ridiculing or scandalizing of the State Institutions etc. – May arrest without warrant Warrant Not bailable Not compoundable Imprisonment up to 5 years or fine of upto Rupees one million or with both Court of Sessions

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