Government to make changes to DSA if needed: Justice Minister

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Justice Minister Anisul Huq said today (31 May 2022) that the government will make changes to the Digital Security Act if it deems it necessary, to ensure its best practices since this law has been misused and abused to some extent.

“I had a meeting with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHRC) office in Geneva through the UN Residential Coordinator in December 2019 to discuss how to ensure the best practice of the digital security law in our country. After that, a committee was formed, made up of representatives from the Ministries of Law, Foreign and Interior Affairs, and ICT, to work with the HRC on this issue,” did he declare.

“The committee has already held a meeting with UNHRC and will hold another meeting soon.

“After having received the recommendations of the commission, the government will take the necessary measures to change the law (DSA). In addition, the European Union wished to provide us with technical assistance for this purpose”, declared the minister.

Photo: Collected

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Photo: Collected

Anisul Huq said this while answering questions as the chief guest of journalists during a “meet the press” event organized by the Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters Forum (BSRF) at its secretariat office in Dhaka.

The Minister of Justice said the government has already taken some steps to prevent the misuse and abuse of the DSA.

“I have spoken to the Home Secretary in this regard. He has issued a directive in front of me to ensure that if anyone makes a complaint under the Digital Security Act, it will be sent to a cell, constituted a senior official and a legal analyst under the Communication and Information Technology Act, for review,” he said.

“If the cell concludes that this is a prima facie case [that has enough elementary evidence], it will be forwarded to the relevant court for judgment. If it is not necessary [or sufficient] information or data, it will not be accepted,” he said, adding that the number of complaints filed and arrests under the DSA had already declined.

Responding to a question, Anisul Huq, also a criminal law expert, said that there are non-releasable sections in the DSA, but that does not mean that the court cannot grant bail to the accused in the DSA. affair.

Granting bail to a defendant in a case is within the court’s discretion, the justice minister said.

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