Bill against honour killing presented -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Bill against honour killing presented

ISLAMABAD – The government on October 21, presented in the National Assembly a bill on honour killing, seeking to amend the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 , and enhance punishment for the offence in order to consequently eradicate the menace of murders carried out in the name of honour.

The level of police investigation in cases of blasphemy and zina is sought to be enhanced to ensure that the law relating to these offences is not misused.

The bill was moved in the shape of a report of the house standing committee on law and justice.

The word ‘honour killing’ has been replaced with ‘honour crime’ to make it mild and acceptable to various sections of the society.

Through the amendment to section 299, Act XLY of 1860 PPC, ‘honour crime’ will mean an offence committed in the name of ‘Ghairat’ or honour or for “vindication of Ghairat or honour and includes honour killing and the offence committed on the pretext of karo-kari, siyah-kari or similar other customs”.

In clause ‘m’ it seeks to add at the end the words ‘other than the person who has murdered the victim’.

The bill proposes, under section 302, Act XLY of 1860, a maximum imprisonment of 25 years and not less then 10 years for the offence.

The law will prohibit giving a girl in marriage as ‘badla-i-sullah’ by amending section 310 of the PPC and under section 311 the punishment will be 14 years’ imprisonment, and not less then seven years.

Amendment to section 324 seeks to include the hurting of a victim as an honour crime.

Similarly ‘Ta’zir’ shall not be less than one-third of the maximum imprisonment provided for the hurt caused and shall not be less then one-half of such imprisonment if the hurt caused relates to honour crime.

The bill provides that for investigation of an offence under section 295C PPC no police officer below the rank of the superintendent of police will be eligible.

An amendment to section 56B envisages that no police officer below the rank of SP shall investigate the case of a woman accused of the offence of ‘zina’.

In statement of objects and reasons it has been stated that the “issue of hour-killing and other honour crimes committed in the name of ‘karo-kari, siyah-kari and similar other customs it has always been a matter of concern of human rights organizations and the public which has assumed more significance in the recent years”.

The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal has moved seven amendments to the bill seeking to omit word ‘siyah-kari’ from sub-clause 2 of section 299, removing the enhancement of minimum punishment of 10 years, omitting the sentence in clause 6 where minimum sentence is proposed as four years, and to removing words ‘or the hurt caused by him relates to honour killing, and shall not be less then one-half of such imprisonment if the hurt caused related to honour crime’.

Source: Dawn