Pakistan Parliament passes anti-honour killing and anti-rape legislations

pakistan Pakistan ParliamentPakistan Parliament in a joint sitting on 6 October 2016 unanimously passed two bills, one seeking to curb murders in the name of honour and the other to punish rapists by use of modern technology of DNA testing in probes involving rape cases.

The two bills are titled as, Criminal law amendment (offences in the name or on the pretext of honour) bill, 2016 and Anti-rape (criminal laws amendment) bill, 2016.

About Anti-Honour Killing Bill
The anti-honour killing bill passed by Pakistan Parliament states, relatives of the victim will be able to pardon the killer if he/she is awarded capital punishment; however, the culprit will have to face mandatory life sentence (25 years).

Under the existing laws, a close relative murdered a woman in the name of honour and was promptly pardoned by another close family member. Thus the murderer would walk away literally without any punishment.

About the Anti Rape Bill

The legislation passed makes DNA test mandatory in investigations as part of the procedure. Through another amendment enhanced punishment has been provided for rape in police stations and rape of minors and mentally handicapped. Thus sex workers also get protection of the law against rape.

A recent study had shown that conviction in rape cases was a mere 2 per cent which means that 98 per cent rapists potentially got scot-free. This is largely because DNA test is not compulsory in rape case under the existing law.

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