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Harsher punishment for rape culprits okayed

ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) on Thursday approved two anti-rape ordinances aimed at setting up special courts for sexual offences against women and children and introducing harsher punishments for convicts.

The Ministry of Law and Justice also officially revealed the salient features of the two ordinances, which expand the definition of rape and introduce the concept of chemical castration “mainly as a form of rehabilitation”.

“As [the] world marks the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the PTI-led government in Pakistan is all set to promulgate historic anti-rape legislation to set up special courts for rape and other sexual offences against women and children,” a statement issued by the ministry said. 

According to the press release, a meeting of the CCLC chaired by Law Minister Farogh Naseem green-lighted the ordinances, which the federal cabinet had approved in principle on Wednesday. Information Minister Shibli Faraz had told a press conference the ordinances would be finalised in a week.

“This is an important moment in Pakistan’s legislative history, and [for] the protection of rights of women, girls and children across the country,” the law ministry said, adding that Naseem had “worked extensively” to finalise the legislation with his team’s assistance over the course of this month.

According to the ministry, the two “state-of-the-art pieces of legislation” — the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Ordinance, 2020 and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 — were in line with the constitutional guarantees of Pakistan as well as international treaties the country has signed. 


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