Senate defeats bill seeking public hanging of rapists

All big parties PML-N, PPP, PTI oppose the bill moved by JI fearing it will brutalise society and promote violence

ISLAMABAD   -  The Senate on Monday defeated a private-member bill seeking public hangings for rapists, fearing the law would brutalize the society and pro­mote violence. In a rare consensus, all the three major political parties including PML-N, PPP and PTI re­jected the motion, seeking immedi­ate consideration of the bill, by a ma­jority of 24 against 14 votes.

The Criminal Laws (Amend­ment) Bill, moved by Jamaat-e-Isla­mi Senator Mushtaq Ahmed sought to amend the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), 1860 and the Code of Crimi­nal Procedure (CrPC), 1898.

The supporters of the bill said that the law would serve as a deterrence in the society against the heinous crime of rape.

PPP Senator Sherry Rehman was the first to object to the proposal to introduce public executions for rap­ists through amendments to PPC and CrPC. She urged for enhanc­ing prosecutions and investigations rather than resorting to “barbarism and violence within society.”

She said that sexual crimes rate could be brought down through comprehensive measures, including improved funding for the police, en­hanced criminal investigations and better training for officers handling rape cases. PML-N leader Senator Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui also opposed the proposed legislation and said there were negative impressions about Pakistan related to extremism and violence. He differed with Sher­ry Rehman that capital punishment should be abolished and said, “But, public hanging would not leave a positive impression on the children and society.

Leader of the House in the Sen­ate Ishaq Dar also pointed out that capital punishment for the offence was already there in the law and op­posed the amendment to the extent of public hanging.

PTI Senator Ali Zafar opposing the legislation said that the proposed amendment of public hanging was incorrect. He called for strength­ening the investigation and prose­cution system. Former minister of state for parliamentary affairs Sena­tor Shahadat Awan said that public hanging would be against the digni­ty of a person as guaranteed under Article 14 of the constitution.

PML-Q Senator Kamil Ali Agha sup­ported the amendment by saying that the death penalty used to be awarded publicly in Saudi Arabia. He stressed that the proposed amendment would help in bringing down the ratio of rape crimes. PTI Senator Humayun Mohmand also endorsed the amend­ment. Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, the mover of the bill, said the impression was wrong that the law would pro­mote cruelty and barbarism in soci­ety, urging it would serve as a deter­rence against the rape crimes.

At the outset of the session, the senators belonging to PTI and JI pro­tested in the house over alleged rig­ging in general elections 2024. The lawmakers came in the house carry­ing placards, inscribed with slogans like “rigged election unacceptable”, and wearing black ribbons around their arms.

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