ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to amend the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) to impose stricter penalties for spreading fake news and hate speech content on electronic and social media platforms, ARY News reported on Saturday.
In a new move to counter the rising tide of fake news and hate content, the federal government decided to amend the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) through an ordinance. The federal cabinet greenlighted the amendments in the electronic crimes’ act.
The draft law for amending PECA is likely to be enforced through an ordinance next week after its approval by the federal cabinet.
It has been recommended to increase imprisonment of an individual involved in spreading fake news and hate speech up to five years besides imposition of a hefty fine of up to Rs1 million.
The amended act will also pave way for action over hate speech and fake news against the national institutions including the armed forces and national figures.
Under the amended law, the violators will be issued non-bailable arrest warrants and up to Rs1 million fine.
The Fake News Ordinance will also be enforced on social media platforms. Citizens will be allowed to register a complaint against fake news, moreover, the trial of electronic crimes will be completed in six months by the concerned court.
The subordinate court will be accountable to the high court judge over failure to complete the trial of electronic crimes within six months.
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said earlier in the day that a proposed bill will make social media defamation a punishable crime.