ISLAMABAD: A legislative bill seeking amendments to the anti-rape laws has been moved in the Upper House of Parliament, which aims at making the investigation officers more accountable.
The amendments, tabled by PPP legislator Sughra Imam, sought amendments in the existing clauses of the anti-rape laws. The bill has subsequently been referred to the standing committee concerned for further debate.
Amendments suggest that if anyone, who is entrusted with the investigation of a rape, fails to carry out proper investigations or is in breach of his duties shall be punished or imprisoned for up to three years.
Another clause in the suggested amendments states that, “whoever, being a police officer commits rape within the limits of the police station to which he is appointed; or in the premises of any station house whether or not situated in the police station to which he is appointed; or on a woman in his custody or in the custody of a police officer subordinate to him, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine”.
It added, “Besides, the same punishment will also be applicable to a public servant who takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in his custody or subordinate to him; or being on the management or on the staff of a jail, or of a women’s or children’s institution takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on any inmate of such jail, remand home, place or institution; or being on the management or on the staff of a hospital takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in that hospital; or commits rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age,” it added.
The Senator also suggested that a new law should be inserted in the Act that prohibits disclosing the victim’s name. The bill said that under 376 anyone found committing the offence will either be punished or imprisoned for a term which may be extended to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
“Whoever prints or publishes any matter in relation to any proceedings before a court with respect to an offence without the previous permission of such court shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine,” it read.
The bill also suggested fixing 24 hours for medical examination of the victim and the accused, and make the officer concerned responsible to submit the report to the relevant department without delay.