CII plans to review Hudood laws -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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CII plans to review Hudood laws

LAHORE – The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) plans to review the Hudood Ordinance of 1979, senior federal government officials told Daily Times on August 11.

The CII holds its two-day meeting today (Thursday) and Prime Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain is likely to chair the opening session. Today’s meeting will be the first meeting of the CII since it was re-formed in June.

The meeting will discuss the Hudood laws and the definition of evidence, marriage with the Quran (a custom prevailing in Sindh) and Hisba Act (the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal government’s initiative in the NWFP).

The officials said the recommendations of a commissions formed to review the Hudood laws headed by Justice (r) Majida Rizvi, the chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women, are also likely to be discussed.

They said that some CII members want to resume the consultative process on reviewing the Hudood laws. Two previous commissions formed by the federal government have recommended repealing these laws because they were flawed and being misused.

The council was itself authorised to start this process without approval from the federal government, the officials added.

They said the CII was trying to prepare its own recommendations after consulting all the stakeholders, especially the judiciary. The officials said that the CII was not provided with the full documents of the Hudood laws and only a small portion of the law related to the definition of evidence had been provided to the CII for review.

CII Chairman Dr. Muhammad Khalid Masud said some council members wanted to review the Hudood laws and this could be approved in the council meeting. He said this would help the CII prepare its own recommendations on the issue.

Asked about the recommendation of the commission headed by Ms Rizvi and former CII chairman Dr. Sher Muhammad Zaman and Syed Afzal Haider as members, Dr. Masud said the council could review the laws on its own.

Dr. Masud said the meeting would discuss the definition of evidence only. About the custom of marriage with the Quran, he said the issue had been pending for a long time and the CII also reviewed it. The CII chairman said the Hisba Act would also be discussed in detail. Dr. Masud said the council would try to prepare clear and broad-based recommendations that are in the best interest of the people.

Dr. Masud said the basic objective of the Hisba Act was to improve the functioning of government institutions. “The law should focus on good governance rather than prioritising the teaching of morality, which is against the spirit of the statute,” he added.

Source: Daily Times