Despite several amendments proposed for the anti-lottery scam bill which is being considered by the Senate, the Parliament did not change its mind on a clause relating to the obtaining of benefit by menace.
The clause makes it an offence for a person to use the telephone "with a view to obtaining a benefit for himself or any other person".
Attorney-at-law Bert Samuels has argued that the provision is too wide. He suggested that under the proposed law, a person making a telephone call to harass a member of the opposite sex for sexual favours would be guilty of a "benefit" under this law, with a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment.
Among the amendments made to the bill is the outlining of a sentencing schedule, outlining areas a sentencing judge may consider before handing down judgment.
The amended section calls for the court to consider factors such as the age of the victim, the health of the victim, whether menaces were used in commission of the offence, as well as whether there was persistent badgering or aggression used in the commission of the offence.
The bill has also been amended to criminally charge persons who are the owner, occupier who "knowingly causes or knowingly permits" a premises to be used in the commission of lottery scam.
The lottery scam bill, when passed into law, is to be reviewed by a joint-select committee of Parliament no later than five years after the commencement of the act.
The review clause was among the amendments included in the revised bill.