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LHC to Address Plea Against Controversial Punjab Defamation Law

The Lahore High Court issued notices to the Attorney General of Pakistan, Advocate General Punjab, and the Punjab government regarding a petition challenging the Punjab defamation law.

During the hearing, Justice Amjad Rafique, presiding over the bench, stipulated that any rulings under the contentious defamation law would be subject to the court’s decision.

This law, which received assent from the acting Punjab governor over the weekend, has sparked controversy since its passage by the Punjab Assembly on May 20. Despite opposition protests and objections, the bill was approved without any amendments.

The legal challenge against the Punjab Defamation Law has been initiated by two journalists, Jaffar Ahmad Yar and Riaz Ahmad Raja, who argue that several sections of the law are unconstitutional.

They contend that these sections, including those defining a journalist and newspaper, as well as outlining defamation actions and procedures, infringe upon fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan.

In response to the petitioners’ request to suspend the implementation of the defamation bill, the registrar’s office initially declined, citing procedural issues.

The petitioners assert that the Punjab Defamation Law violates various constitutional articles related to the right to fair trial, freedom of speech, equality of citizens, and the establishment and jurisdiction of courts.

They argue that the law represents an authoritarian move and poses a threat to freedom of the press and individual rights.

Meanwhile, the PPP has distanced itself from the Punjab Defamation Law, with Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon clarifying that the party was not involved in its passage.

Memon emphasized PPP’s support for media freedom and highlighted the party’s history of standing with the press against attempts to curtail journalistic independence.

As the legal battle over the Punjab Defamation Law unfolds in the Lahore High Court, the outcome will have significant implications for press freedom and constitutional rights in Pakistan.

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I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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