Proposed changes in Hudood laws in jeopardy | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Proposed changes in Hudood laws in jeopardy

ISLAMABAD – The government efforts to bring about significant changes in the Hudood laws to stop their abuse against women look to be in jeopardy as the Standing Committee on Law and Justice stood vividly divided on the issue on Thursday, fearing the suggested amendments may lead to negative fallout.

After the failure of the committee to clear the amended Hudood Bill on the last day of its meeting on August 12, there was now little possibility that the amended bill would come to the National Assembly during the session starting from today.

Earlier, the amendments to the Hudood laws could not be cleared in the committee meeting after the ruling party members feared that if they did clear these amendments, the religious forces may resort to agitation against the government of the day in the name of protection of Islamic teachings.

Sources have confirmed that certain members of the committee had strongly opposed the amendments to the Pakistan Panel code, which seek limiting the powers of police to arrest a women on charges of Zina unless authorised by the court. Under the new amendments, only Superintendent Police would investigate charges of Zina against the accused woman and only then proceedings against her could be started.

The sources said when the same amendment in the 1898 act was brought for discussion in the Committee meeting, certain reservations were expressed by the ruling party members, including the Chair itself.

The sources claimed that even some members went to the extent of opposing this clause on the ground that it might give a license to both the male and female members to get involved in objectionable activities and get away with them. The sources said, however, PM’s Adviser Nelofar Bukhtiar strongly advocated in favour of the amendment that would limit the police powers to arrest a woman.

Source: The News