Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday said time for discussion on the Digital Security Act is not over yet.
“I can say that I did not break my promise. Time is not over yet,” he said replying to a question after a programme at the Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium.
The Sampadak Parishad (Editors' Council) on September 30 held a meeting with law minister, information minister, posts, telecommunications and IT minister and the Prime Minister's media adviser over the Digital Security Act.
The editors took part in the meeting following the request of the information minister after postponing their scheduled human chain on September 29.
“Nothing was done in spite of public commitment by three ministers and media adviser to the PM to raise our concerns to the cabinet and open a dialogue with the stakeholders to work out acceptable changes in the Digital Security Act,” said a written statement of the Parishad.
“We consider it to be a breach of the trust that the Sampadak Parishad had reposed on the three ministers,” it added.
Asked about Parishad's comment, the law minister said that as the bill has already been passed in parliament, he has to place the editors' concerns at the cabinet before any discussions on it.
“I did not place the matter before the cabinet yet …. However, time to keep my promise is not over yet. I can say that I did not breach my promise.”
He, however, said no discussion would be allowed over section 21 as it has already been settled.
Section 21 says anyone spreading negative propaganda against the Liberation War or the Father of the Nation, using digital devices or instigates to do so, will risk being sentenced up to 14 years' jail or a fine of up to Tk 1 crore or both.
He or she will face up to life sentence or Tk 3 crore fine or both for committing the offence for the second time, it said.