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Releasing women on bail termed discriminatory

ISLAMABAD: A petition filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday challenged the Code of Criminal Procedure (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2006 that was promulgated to facilitate the release of under-trial women prisoners on bail. The petitioner, Shahid Orakzai, questioned the logic of releasing women under the same law which barred freeing men on bail. President Gen Pervez Musharraf had promulgated the Code of Criminal Procedure (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2006 protecting women’s rights, authorising immediate release of all under trial women prisoners involved in criminal and Hudood cases on bail.

The ordinance also amended Section 497 of the CrPC to facilitate the release of women prisoners involved in rape, adultery and Hudood cases if not wanted for murder and terrorism. Earlier, offences under Hudood laws were non-bailable. Soon after the promulgation of the ordinance 1,300 women prisoners, languishing in different jails under Hudood cases, were to be released after the completion of their bail process. The ordinance was promulgated on July 8 but it lapsed after four months. Subsequently, it was re-promulgated on Nov 8.

Mr Orakzai urged the apex court to declare the ordinance to be against the Constitution. The ordinance’s re-promulgation, he contended, indicated that the incumbent president, being a military officer, was not aware of his legislative powers, duties and functions. Therefore the apex court should elaborate the president’s legislative role mentioned in Articles 50, 54, 56, 75 and 89 of the Constitution.
Source: Releasing women on bail termed discriminatory
Date:12/27/2006

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