Amended ICT bill placed - Highest punishment 14-year jail

Bangladesh on 20 September 2013
Location : Bangladesh | Source : Daily Star

Despite drawing huge criticism from different quarters, the government yesterday placed the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) (amendment) Bill-2013 in parliament.

The amendment seeks to empower law enforcers to arrest anybody who broke the ICT law without warrant and increase the highest punishment to 14 years.

ICT Minister Mostafa Faruque Mohammed tabled the bill that also seeks to increase the minimum punishment for any offence covered by the act to seven years.

According to the proposed legislature, destroying computer data with malicious intent, transferring data without proper authorisation, hacking and releasing vulgar and defaming information in electronic form will be considered as serious offences.

The bill has later been sent to the parliamentary standing committee on ICT ministry for further scrutiny. The committee is to submit a report in the House in a week.

On August 20, President Abdul Hamid promulgated an ordinance on bringing amendments to the Information and Communication Technology Act-2006, enacted by the BNP-Jamaat government.

Prior to that, the bill was approved by the cabinet.

In the 2006 act, the maximum punishment was 10 years’ jail and police had to seek permission from the authorities concerned to file a case and arrest anyone involved in crimes covered under the law.

The Vested Property Return Bill-2013 (second amendment) was also placed in the House yesterday. Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira placed the bill which was later sent to the parliamentary standing committee on land ministry for scrutiny.

Under the proposed amendment, one or more tribunals and committees on vested property return would be formed in each district for quick disposal of cases.

The Jatiya Sangsad yesterday passed a bill making mandatory the use of jute and jute products for packaging goods.

Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddique had placed the bill. The bill was passed in voice vote.

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