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Punjab governor signs Women’s Protection Bill

Punjab governor signs Women’s Protection Bill

LAHORE: Punjab Governor Malik Rafique Rajwana on Monday signed the Women’s Protection Bill.

The bill approved by the Punjab Assembly on February 24 was signed by the governor after which its gazette notification was issued. After the signatures, the bill has now become a law. In the first phase, the bill will be implemented in Multan.

Moreover, the government will announce the date of implementation of the bill in every area.According to the bill, those accused of throwing acid on women, rape and other grave offences will be restrained from visiting the workplace or areas frequented by the female concerned.

The offender may also be restrained by the court from contacting the woman based on the evidence submitted by her. The accused person will have to maintain the stated distance from the woman concerned as ordered by the court in view of the events.

The bill also stated that female victims of domestic violence could not be evicted from homes without their consent and in case of such an event, the court would reinstate the position of the female concerned.

The bill further highlights that firearms or ammunition found in possession of those convicted of violence against women will also be confiscated. The court may also order relief for the female concerned as compensation for the damage suffered by her. A wrist bracelet GPS tracker will not have to be worn by the accused just on the basis of domestic violence. In case of wrongful accusation, a three-month jail sentence or a fine of Rs50,000 to Rs100,000 or both may be ordered.

Disobedience of any transitional, protection, residence or monetary order more than once will be penalised by a two-year jail sentence or a fine of Rs500,000. The District Protection Officer, on complaint of the woman concerned, will be allowed to enter the house. According to the Bill, the Punjab government will also issue a toll-free number.

Meanwhile, the provincial minister for education and sports on Monday stated that the Women’s Protection Bill must not be ridiculed.He criticised Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s opposition to the bill stating that the Maulana had a good sense of humour.

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