National Assembly proposes strict punishment for rapists
The National Assembly’s standing committee on interior approved a draft bill suggesting death penalty and life imprisonment for accused involved in rape of underage girls. The committee meeting was presided over by Rana Shamim Ahmed Khan. The bill which is aimed at preventing children from rapist will now be sent to National Assembly for approval.
According to MNA Shaista Pervaiz Malik it was the responsibility of the state to guard against such crimes and prevent the abuse of the process of law. “Besides, the state should protect the vulnerable from exploitation and ensure the life and dignity of women,” Ms Malik said.
The acceleration in number of rape cases is an alarming situation with around 15,000 rape cases reported during last year alone.
‘Whoever commits an offence under sub-section (1) of section 376 against a woman when she is under 14 years of age shall be punished with imprisonment for life or death, the amended clause of the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 state. The bill also proposed two year imprisonment for those trying to hide the identity of rape victims along with six months imprisonment for police officers trying to hamper or delay investigations in the cases. It further suggested that the convict should bear the expenses of the treatment of the rape victim otherwise a fine will be imposed on him. Employing DNA test for rape victims was also proposed.
The chairman of the committee also observed that serious punishments should be awarded to those involved in such heinous crimes. Due to certain technical objections by officials of the law ministry over the amendments, the committee will have to discuss the issue more in its next meeting.