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Sindh Assembly passes Child Marriages Restraint Bill 2013

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Published: April 29, 2014 03:44 pm

Child Marriages

  • Underage marriage declared punishable;parents, bride and bridegroom can be prisoned for three years

ISLAMABAD: The Provincial Assembly unanimously passed the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Bill, 2013, on Monday which prohibits marriage below 18 years of age and declared such contract a punishable offence.

The bill was passed during 15th sitting of the 12th session. The provincial assembly had sent the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Bill, 2013 to the Special Committee for deliberation, and on presentation of its report, the bill was passed in unison. Earlier, the House merged both the government bill – the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Bill, 2013 and the Private Members Bill – The Child Marriage Prohibition Bill, 2013 – together due to similarity in various clauses and also serving the same purpose.

Both the bills were later sent to the Special Committee that submitted its report in the House on Monday. The Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Bill, 2013 declares marriage below the age of 18 punishable by law. According to the bill, in cases of underage marriage, the parents, bride and groom can all be sentenced to three years in prison and can be fined with Rs. 45,000.The Sindh Assembly is the first legislative house in the country to pass such a bill.

The draft of the bill was jointly tabled in the provincial assembly last year by Sindh Minister for Culture Sharmila Farooqi as well as Provincial Minister Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Assembly did not discuss the details about revenue generated and expenditure incurred during the ongoing fiscal year 2013-14 despite the announcement in the last sitting to have a four-day continuous debate on it. Discussion on “receipts of the province, 2013-14”, “current revenue expenditure, 2013-14”, “current capital expenditure, 2013-14” and “development expenditure, 2013-14” was on Orders of the Day in the last two sittings (13th, 14th sitting) but the House adjourned debate on it.

The debate on the said agenda could not be started during the 15th sitting as the House agreed to complete other items on the agenda. However, the discussion on the same issue has once again been included in the 16th sitting on Tuesday (today). Besides, passing the bill on child marriages, the provincial assembly also took up four calling attention notices (CANs), including the criminal incidents reported in Karachi during last six months, increase in street crime in Karachi, investment and expenditures of Sindh Management House and scarcity of water in constituency PS-118 (Gulshan-e-Iqbal).

Besides, the House took up an adjournment motion submitted by PML-F female lawmaker Nusrat Bano Seher Abbasi regarding cheating culture during exams in Sindh. Four members spoke on it, including the mover. However, the Minister for Education Nisar Khoro raised objection to it. The Chair, while questioning its admissibility, gave the ruling that the debate cannot be held on the motion unless it is in line with the rules.

Following the ruling, the entire opposition staged a walkout from the House for 15 minutes. The House took up three of the five starred questions (requiring oral as well as written replies) which were responded to by the Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Sharmila Farooqi. The members asked 23 supplementary questions as well.

Quorum was pointed out by PTI’s legislator Syed Hafeezuddin soon after the commencement of the sitting, however, the proceedings continued. The Minister for Education Nisar Khoro and MPA Sikandar Mandhro reminded the House that there was an understanding between the parties that no one will point out the quorum.

The lawmakers raised fourteen points of order consuming 31 minutes of the proceedings.

Posted by on April 29, 2014. Filed under Legislation Sindh Assembly,News,Sindh Assembly. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry