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SHC orders Sindh govt to address domestic violence issue

SHC orders Sindh govt to address domestic violence issue

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday ordered the government to ensure the formulation of effective protocols by departments concerned to address the issue of domestic violence.

A single bench of the SHC headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar referring to Domestic Violence (Prevention & Protection) Act, 2013 observed that preamble of law is sufficient to describe the importance and vitality, which reads, “it is expedient to institutionalize measures which prevent and protect women, children and any vulnerable person from domestic violence and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.

The bench directed Chief Secretary Sindh to submit report with regard to sections 3, 4, 17, 18 and 21 of the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2013 and ensure that Commission and Committees are notified within a month as well as Advocate General Sindh shall submit whether Rules under the Act have been framed or not.

The court gave these orders in the petitions of a woman, who was compelled to leave the house when she carrying pregnancy was beaten.

The court ruled that no law allows one to become victim of cruelty merely for reason of his / her being a women, child, old aged and infirm rather directs all relations such as ‘husband’; father of a child’ and son of an old aged and infirm parent to show love at such time of their life by ensuring all privileges of life to them.

The court observed that prima facie, law against domestic violence was enacted to provide protection to the weakest class of society i.e ‘women & children’ as, normally, we are carrying a presumption of living a ‘male dominant society’ where aggrieved even does not dare to tell about ‘domestic violence’ because of threats of being abandoned or dispossessed / removed from household.

The court orders the Sindh Government to ensure that through electronic and print media as well as government officers, the police and the members of the judicial service are given periodic sensitization and awareness training about contents of the law.

The court observed that victims of ‘domestic violence’ do not find any immediate relief but remain dependant upon others or in shelter house and asked the legislatures to address such situation.

The court stated that legally the proper remedy for issue of domestic violence lies with Magisterial Court hence it would be appropriate to leave it open to be addressed.

The court ordered to issue notices to Prosecutor General, Advocate General Sindh, Chief Secretary, IGP Sindh, Vice Chairman, Sindh Bar Council; the focal person of Social Welfare Department, Government of Sindh to be present with compliance report on next date of hearing of the case.

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