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Law minister says digital security act to be amended if necessary

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Admitting some misuses and abuses in implementing the digital security act (DSA), Law Minister Anisul Huq on Thursday said the government will amend the act, if necessary to implement it properly.

“There were some misuses and abuses during its implementation. In order to prevent these, we’ll fix the best practices with the UN human rights office over the world’s finest practices as well as accept the necessary provisions for the country by adopting a rule. If needed, the law will be amended slightly,” he said.

The minister came up with the statement while talking to reporters after the sixth session of the DCs’ Conference at the city’s Osmani Smriti Auditorium, reports UNB.

He said they discussed with the UN human rights office two times over the DSA.

“The office was also informed that the government is ready to discuss it and asked it to fix the date soon for the discussion. And a six-member committee, headed by the legislative secretary, was formed in this regard,” he added.

Asked about the committee’s function, the minister said the law was enacted actually to curb cybercrimes, not to snatch the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press.

Anisul Huq said a decision was taken through discussions with the home minister so that cases are not registered instantly under the DSA and media workers and journalists are not arrested immediately.

“Following the decision, the arrest of journalists under the law has largely declined,” he said.

Replying to a query about the draft law on the appointment of chief election commissioner and election commissioners, the minister said there will be efforts to get the draft Election Commission formation law passed in the current session of parliament.

Recently, the cabinet approved the draft of the law in order to have a law as mentioned in the constitution.

At the conference, the DCs demanded the incorporation of Section 228 of the Penal Code in the schedule of the Mobile Court Act.

In this regard, the minister said the decision will be taken following a thorough examination and scrutiny.

Section 228 of the Penal Code states, “Whoever intentionally offers any insult, or causes any interruption to any public servant, while such public servant is sitting in any stage of a judicial proceeding, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to Tk one thousand, or with both.”

In reply to another question, the law minister said the land registration activities will remain under the jurisdiction of the Law Ministry as per the directives of the prime minister.

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