03 September, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 7, 1435

A view of the National Assembly. — Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD, Nov 15: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice reviewed on Thursday the controversial “Fair Trial Act”, but postponed deliberations at the request of the opposition PML-N, Dawn has learnt.

Sources in the government said the committee meeting had been put for Monday because Zahid Hamid of the PML-N had sought time to seek guidelines from the party leadership on a number of clauses of the law.

Mr Hamid said the members had completed first reading of the draft and the PML-N had told the government that it wanted certain amendments to the bill so that it could not be misused.

“We need safeguards to minimise the misuse of the law and we have already made a number of suggestions, some of which were acceptable to the government,” the PML-N leader said.

The federal cabinet approved the bill in September which the government argues will allow investigation “by modern techniques and devices”.

The bill has already become controversial since it has drawn criticism from various quarters that it will pose a serious threat to people’s privacy. If passed in its current shape, it will authorise the state to tap people’s phone calls and intercept private communications in order to capture terrorists.

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