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Ordinance for women prisoners’ relief lapses

LAHORE: A presidential ordinance aimed at providing relief to female prisoners who have been in jail for more than six months has surprisingly lapsed. President General Pervez Musharraf promulgated the ordinance on July 8, under which all women prisoners on trial in Hudood cases and other crimes — except for murder cases, National Accountability Bureau cases and terrorism — were declared eligible for bail. As a result, more than 1,300 women inmates on trial in Hudood Ordinance cases were released over the last four months, but the federal ordinance has now lapsed because it crossed its 120-day limit in November without being approved by parliament, Daily Times learnt from the National Assembly Secretariat on Wednesday.

The ordinance was supposed to be enacted by the NA before November 8. An NA said that the draft of the bill was still with the NA’s standing committee on law, and “no doubt … the ordinance has lapsed”. The official said the ordinance could be re-promulgated with effect from the date it lapsed. Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid of the Supreme Court told Daily Times that this showed “the governmentÂ’s lack of commitment”. He said it would be “difficult” for the government to re-promulgate the ordinance because the SC had ruled that no ordinance could be renewed if it was not passed by the assembly. ali waqar.
Source: Daily Times

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