No Jail Terms in Defamation Cases under CSA: Law Minister

Staff Coresspondent

Published: 07 Aug 2023, 03:07 pm

Law Minister Anisul Huq || Photo: Collected

Law Minister Anisul Huq || Photo: Collected

Anisul Huq, the minister for law, justice, and parliamentary affairs, announced on Monday that the Cyber Security Act 2023, which will replace the Digital Security Act 2018, will not include jail time for libel cases.

"One of the important new things is that there was a provision of jail and fine in defamation cases, it has been proposed to remove the jail provision and keep only the provision of fine," stated the minister.

The proposal to replace DSA with a new legislation received in-principle agreement from the cabinet earlier in the day.

"It cannot be deemed unlawful because the new legislation contains several provisions from the previous one. Numerous portions of the DSA have been modified, according to the law ministry.The administration of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said, operates in a listening capacity. This choice was made for that reason.

The hotly contested Digital Security Act of 2018 will no longer be implemented, the administration has determined.

A highly placed cabinet source revealed that the decision was made at the Monday morning meeting of the Cabinet, which was presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The Cyber Security Act 2023 will take its place as the new legislation.

DSA will not be repealed, according to Law Minister Anisul Huq, who also stated that it is being improved to prevent abuse.

The DSA was enacted on October 8, 2018, with the aim of preventing the spread of racism; sectarianism; extremism; terrorist propaganda; and hatred against religious or ethnic minorities through social media, print media, or any other electronic media. 

However, since its inception, the act was criticized heavily for its misuse.

Law Minister Anisul Huq told the National Parliament last June that since the enactment of the DSA, there have been 7,001 cases filed under the act across the country till January 31 this year.

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