Draft Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, 2004: The Proposed E-Law in a Judge’s Perspective
Pakistan Law Journal, p. 333, 2005
11 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 19, 2005
Government is set to enact this electronic crimes (or e-crimes) law through Majlis-e-Shoora [Parliament] to bring to justice the criminals of the emerging information technology (IT) crimes. A Consultative Workshop was organized by the IT Ministry to evolve a national understanding of the problem and its solution through the proposed legislation. It was well-attended by those who are concerned with the issue of electronic crimes and everyone tried their level best to provide an inside view of his or her understanding about the draft law and also tried to put suggestions for a qualitative enactment. Minister for Information Technology and Secretary of the Ministry also spoke on the occasion and suggestions were noted by the authorities concerned and hopefully the best will come out.
It is very important to note that the electronic regime has so much flexibility and vulnerability of change and innovation that no country in the world, including the most developed ones, is able to keep pace with the legal problems coming out of e-technology. What is necessary for Pakistan is at least to have a law on computer crimes as soon as possible, leaving apart the moot point as to whether it was sufficient to suitably amend the existing criminal laws or a complete new law be enacted. I am not aware if any such moot was arranged by the IT ministry which opted to avail the later approach. Of course, at this moment, only the substantive law (Final Draft of Electronic Crimes Act, 2004) is under consideration while it has a provision (section 25) that for procedure, existing criminal procedure code (i.e., CrPC) will be used. I doubt if the existing provisions of CrPC are sufficient to meet the challenges of electronic crimes and the administration of justice for this extension of the field of law. It would have been a better approach if, along with the substantive law, a bill to amend the CrPC and the evidence law (Qanun-e-Shahadat Order) to meet the procedural and evidential problems which the law courts will face during trials of e-crimes, be also floated and discussed for nationwide consideration. However, to cope with the needs of e-governance, e-corporate culture, e-business regimes and e-courts system, the law in hand was need of the day.
Keywords: Electronic Crimes Bill, Cyber Crimes, CrPC, Qanun-i-Shahadat Order, Computer, Digital Signature, E-Crimes, Computer Misuse Act, Information Technology Act
JEL Classification: C80, C89, K10, K20, K30, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation