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NA approves stricter penalties for forced marriages, other crimes

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Published: May 20, 2016 04:44 pm

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ISLAMABAD, May 20, 2016: The National Assembly passed the Criminal Laws Amendment Bill 2016 on Friday to provide for stricter punishments against forced marriages, spreading false information, lynching and religious hates-speech. The bill also tightens the noose around the police officers disobeying official orders regarding public meetings and rallies.

After the passage from the Lower House, the bill would now be referred to the Senate for its approval. Prepared by the Interior Ministry, the bill seeks to amend the Pakistan Penal Code 1860, Police Act 1861, Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, Qanon-e-Shahadat 1984, Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and Protection of Pakistan Act 2014.

The punishment for providing false information to the public servants to obstruct their official functions has been increased to imprisonment up to seven years. The penalty for hurting religious feeling through speech or action has been increased to imprisonment up to three years and a fine of half million rupees. The forced marriage with a child girl or non-Muslim woman can be punished with imprisonment up to ten years but not less than five years and fine up to one million rupees.

The prevention of sectarianism, hate-speech and proliferation of hate-material has been added to the duties of a police officer as defined in the Police Act 1861. The bill also provides for imprisonment up to three years and fine up to 0.1 million rupees for the police officer who is proved guilty of violation of duty or willful breach or neglect of any rule, regulation or lawful order made by competent authority.  Similarly, a police officer who disobeys any lawful order with regards to keeping order in public places, controlling public rallies and meetings may be punished with the imprisonment up to three years and fine. The bill also legalizes the conviction on the basis of modern devices and techniques. This amendment comes in the backdrop of police officers refusing to obey the orders to use force against political parties’ rallies.

The act of lynching has been added as an offence under the Anti-Terrorism Act and defined as inflicting punishment on an accused of a crime by any individual, an organized group or a mob. Those found guilty of lynching may be sentenced with imprisonment up to three years.

 

Posted by on May 20, 2016. Filed under Latest Post,Legislation National Assembly,National Assembly. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry