By Kashif Hussain
LAHORE: Expressing concern on the cases of torture and killing of housemaids in the province, the major opposition party in Punjab Assembly, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has submitted a bill against domestic violence in the assembly secretariat.
The bill was submitted by the PTI legislator from Lahore, Dr Nausheen Hamid, expressing her concern over increasing incidents of domestic violence and suggested provisions for protection against it. The PTI legislator will table this bill in the Punjab Assembly during the next session.
Talking about the reasoning of the bill, Dr Nausheen has said that although Section 337 of Pakistan Penal Code provided the law but separate legislation was required for the issue of domestic violence against women or servants.
She argued that law enforcement agencies usually ignored the domestic violence, as it was considered an internal matter so that should be solved within the walls of the house. Also women and servants need extra protection because the family turns against them on lodging a complaint. Extra measures are therefore required due to pressure of family and society during proceedings of the case, she said, adding that a mechanism was required to bypass police stations and FIRs which was a strenuous exercise for these vulnerable victims.
Dr Nausheen said specific punishments under this legislation would be a deterrent for perpetrators and the bill would provide the definitions for domestic violence and domestic relationships and also the procedure for initiation of proceedings and investigation and time limit for them.
Under the bill, PTI legislator said, would also provide protection and compensation to the victim during proceedings. Expressing a hope of passage of her bill from the House, she said a similar bill had already been passed in Sindh Assembly so now the treasury benches in Punjab Assembly should also take the matter of domestic violence seriously.
Moreover, the PTI backed opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed also submitted a Call Attention Notice (CAN) against the murder of his party’s women wing head Neelam Ashraf in the assembly secretariat.
The opposition leader also filed a separate CAN on the murders of four of companions of Masood Bhatti, the PTI leader from Kasur, demanding the Punjab chief minister to inform the house about legal progress in the case.