Sindh Assembly passes ‘The Control of Narcotics Substance (Sindh Amendment) Bill, 2021’

People found manufacturing, selling, dispatching of Ice or Crystal can be awarded death penalty

KARACHI   -  Sindh Assembly on Friday unanimously passed ‘The Control of Narcotics Substance (Sindh Amendment) Bill, 2021’, making the manufacturing, selling and dispatching of ‘methamphetamine’ drug commonly known as Ice or Crystal a punishable offence as a person involved in the heinous crime could be awarded death penalty and imprisonment.

The statement of objects and reasons of the government bill read that the culprits were given no punishment in trial courts as neurotoxic synthetic drugs including Ice, Crystal and Meth were not defined in the laws. “Punishment for drug related crimes in the law are also assigned as per quantity, whereas severity of addiction and harm is not considered and drugs like Heroine and Cannabis are treated in same category,” it added.

The statement of objects and reasons also said that rigorousness of punishment may vary with respect of quantity that’s why it was very difficult for police to prove the heinousness of the crime and get desired conviction.

The bill read that ‘no person shall extract, prepare, process, manufacture, sell, purchase, deliver on any terms whatsoever and transport or dispatch the drug’. It added that the people found involved in violating the law could be given death penalty or imprisonment of three years to life term, depending upon the quantity of drugs. 

As per the bill, a person could be given capital punishment or life imprisonment if the drug’s quantity exceeded to 10-kilogram. The fine up to Rs one million may also be imposed on the law violators.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Narcotics Control Mukesh Kumar Chawla who moved the bill, after standing committee standing committee on Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights presented the report, said that the legislation was need of the hour. He said that there was no law for punishing the people on manufacturing and sell of recreational drugs. “It (the bill) is for betterment of our new generation,” Chawla added.

Succession certificate

Meanwhile, the assembly also passed ‘The Letters of Administration and Succession Certificate Bill, 2021’ unanimously.

Chawla said that issuance of letters of administration and succession certificate was time consuming procedure, adding that the provincial government decided to enact the law keeping in view miseries of the citizens. Under the law the heirs of a deceased person could be able to apply for succession directly in NADRA for obtaining succession certificate.

The minister said that the people could approach the court, if NADRA failed to issue them certificates on time. Currently letters of administration and succession certificates were being issued under Succession Act-1925 by the component courts having jurisdiction.

Lawmakers least bothered in legislation

On the hand, the Sindh government was carrying out legislation in ‘larger interest’ of the people of Sindh’ but on the other hand, only 13 legislators all belonging to ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) were present in the assembly and hardly five through video link took part in voting for passage of the bills. The PPP currently had total 96 members after death of its three MPAs.

The opposition parties also distanced themselves from the lawmaking as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) boycotted the proceedings against adoption of an adjournment motion of PPP member Nida Khuhro on the federal government’s ‘intention’ to alter the 18th constitutional amendment.

The members belonging to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Tehreek-e-Lababaik Pakistan (TLP) and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) also seemed least bothered in the legislation.

Earlier, GDA and PTI lawmakers boycotted the proceedings as they were not allowed to speak on an adjournment motion of the PPP MPA Nida Khuhro. The motion was admitted for discussion in a coming sitting.

‘Why is Bhutto’s mausoleum open while shrines are closed’

Meanwhile, speaking to his calling attention notice, Mufti Muhammad Qasim Fakhri of TLP came down hard on the provincial government for closing the shrines ‘under the garb’ of COVID-19. “Why is Bhutto’s (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) mausoleum open while shrines are closed across the province,” he asked.

Qasim was of the view that novel coronavirus would not spread through shrines but public gatherings of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Parliamentary Secretary for Auqaf Heer Soho said that it was very unfortunate that the government had to close the shrines, adding that the decision was taken by National Coordination and Operation Centre (NCOC). “The shrines are closed for public till January 31 and hopefully, they would be opened after that,” she added.

Later, the house was adjourned till Monday.

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