Draft for amendments in Family Courts Act -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Draft for amendments in Family Courts Act

ISLAMABAD : The Women Ministry has proposed a draft for amendments in Section 5 of the Family Courts Act, 1964.

The amendment is in line with the proposal of Pakistan Law Commission that gives exclusive jurisdiction to Family Courts to try cases where victims and perpetuator of the act are spouses.

Majority of mental and physical violence goes unnoticed and unresolved. The existing types of domestic violence cover psychological and mental abuses, physical injury, stove burns, acid burns, domestic torture, wrongful confinement and restraints and sexual harassment.

The Women Ministry intends to enact specific legislation on domestic violence by clearly spelling out cruelty as criminal offence, issuance of immediate and clear directives to police to register, investigate and prosecute all cases of domestic violence, to establish burn units in hospitals and to expand and improve existing facilities.

The district superintendents of police had been directed to keep the records of cases of violence against women and compile the records from district police station on monthly basis, but unfortunately no one is making any effort to implement the decision.

Similarly, women prisoners are in vulnerable condition in jails. Because of increase in sexual and physical abuses, rape and exploitation of women prisoners, Commission of Inquiry (CoI) headed by former Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid had recommended several measures, which included enactment of legislation and implementation measures to penalise the police and members of law-enforcement agencies for any kind of violence against women.

The Commission of Inquiry recommended that prison staff should be properly trained and penalties should be imposed for deviations from prescribed produced procedures. Women jail staff should be increased to lessen the chances of female prisoners’ exploitation by male staff.

The CoI also recommended that an inquiry be held against government officials conniving in atrocities of women prisoners. Educational facilities and childcare should be provided for children accompanying imprisonment.

According to the report, officers of district police stations have been instructed to be complainants in honour killing cases.

Child sexual abuse has not received adequate attention in Pakistan.

The Commission of Inquiry recommended that concerted efforts are required to enact special legislation on child abuse.

All these issues have not been given due attention by the authorities concerned. Several recommendations are yet to be implemented.
Source: Business Recorder