Punjab Assembly amends law against journalists

Published July 14, 2021
The Punjab Privileges (Amendment) Bill was introduced in the provincial assembly for removal of the anti-journalists clauses by PML-Q’s Sajid Bhatti. — APP/File
The Punjab Privileges (Amendment) Bill was introduced in the provincial assembly for removal of the anti-journalists clauses by PML-Q’s Sajid Bhatti. — APP/File

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday amended the recently passed law that had recommended jail terms for journalists for reporting things that may violate privileges of the assembly members.

The Punjab Privileges (Amendment) Bill was introduced in the provincial assembly for removal of the anti-journalists clauses by PML-Q’s Sajid Bhatti, who was also one of the movers of the controversial bill, and was unanimously passed by the house.

Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, who was presiding over the sitting, said that by amending the controversial law all reservations of the journalist community stood removed.

Meanwhile, the opposition PML-N through points of order demanded restoration of local governments as per a recent verdict of the Supreme Court.

Senior lawmaker Malik Ahmed Khan said that by not restoring the local bodies the government was committing contempt of court.

Law Minister Basharat Raja responded to it by saying that the government was ready to implement the court order in letter and spirit, but pointed out that presently two petitions were pending with the court and a final decision on the issue would be taken after adjudication of the case(s).

Hearing of the petition is scheduled for Friday (July 16).

The speaker directed the health minister to frame permanent rules for parking stands in the state-run hospitals across the province. His ruling came after PML-N’s Suhaib Malik raised the issue of overcharging at parking stands in Bhalwal and Bhera. The chair later put off the house proceedings for July 26.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2021

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