Governor raises objections over journalists’ protection bill

21
Observer Report

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Sunday raised objections over Sindh Protection of Journalists’ and other Media Practitioners’ Bill-2021 and sent it back to Sindh Assembly.

Governor Imran Ismail pointed out that no committee was formed to monitor the funding and expenditure of the Journalist Protection Commission. He added that the third-party audit clause should be included in the bill.

In the documents, the governor mentions that “A commission has been constituted with funding from public exchequer and so raising money from other sources as well.

Neither any finance committee formed to supervise spending nor any mechanism for third party audit of government funding has been incorporated in Bill. An appropriate mechanism for the purpose should be included accordingly.”

It further adds, “As per procedure of the commission [Section-13 (1), it can formulate its own rules and regulations which seems in contravention of Section-24 of this Bill which states that Government by notification in official gazette, make rules for carrying out purpose of this act.

The Sindh governor called upon the Provincial Assembly of Sindh to reconsider the Bill.

Back in May, The Sindh Assembly had unanimously passed the Sindh Protection of Journalists’ and other Media Practitioners’ Bill-2021 to provide an institutional mechanism to help journalists to discharge their professional duties without any threat or compulsion.

The bill contains the provision to establish a commission to ensure protection of journalists.

The bill envisages due action against elements that obstruct the journalists from discharging their professional duties.

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