ISLAMABAD: The proposed new law to check cases of honour killing in Pakistan will treat this crime as ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’ carrying a punishment of 25 years jail.
Unlike other sentences, the jail-term of 25 years to be given under the proposed law would not be allowed routine remissions as announced annually or on the occasion of Eid etc.
Official sources said that the draft law is being prepared in line with the provisions of the Constitution and Islamic teachings.
In a murder case under Islamic law, the murderer could be forgiven by the legal heirs of the deceased through a compromise either on payment of Diyat or even otherwise. However, if the murder falls in the category of ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’ then the killer can’t be forgiven by the heirs of the deceased.
In the case of honour killings, the Pakistan Penal Code will be amended to treat the crime as ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’. The amendment will authorise the court whether to accept or reject a compromise between the complainant and the killer who in most of the cases of honour killing has blood relations.
In many cases of honour killing, the killer commits this crime with the mutual understanding of the family. For example, the father or mother becomes a complainant in the case of his/her daughter’s murder by brother or any other close relative.
During the trial of such cases, the complainant (father/mother) usually forgives the killer (son/close relative) and thus the court has no option but to release the killer. With the proposed amendment, now the courts will have the final power of whether to accept or reject a compromise in such murder cases.
The government had earlier prepared draft amendments in certain laws to effectively check cases of honour killing and rape laws in Pakistan but those amendments could not be made because of lack of consensus among political parties. Now the proposed changes are being made in consultation with different political parties.
In regard to rape cases, the government wanted to introduce seven amendments in different laws to ensure that the rape victims get justice without any delay and exploitation.
The proposed amendments included the medical examination of the victim by a doctor within 24 hours to avoid any delay following any pressure or for any other reason. However, for the medical examination the consent of the victim will be mandatory. In case of the accused offender, reasonable force can be used for his medical examination.
Another amendment in the PPC was proposed to entail three years punishment for a doctor, police investigation officer and the prosecutor in case any of them is found involved (intentionally) in spoiling the medical, investigation or prosecution of the case in the court of law.
Another amendment being considered was to set a six- month period for the court to decide a rape case. It was also being proposed that the name of the victim could not be publicised without her or the court’s consent. The PPC was also recommended to be amended for the in-camera trial of the rape cases unless the victim decides otherwise.