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Senate panel approves criminal laws, anti-rape bills

The Senate of Pakistan while in session. — APP/File
The Senate of Pakistan while in session. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee on Interior unanimously approved Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and The Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) (Amendment) Bill, 2023—with amendments. During the Senate committee meeting at the parliament House on Wednesday, Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi moved Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

He said the increasing trend of false accusations and malicious criminal prosecution has become an alarming issue these days and the bill aims to enhance the time period of punishment for these offences by amending Section 182 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Schedule-II of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Besides, the committee unanimously passed the bill titled “The Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) (Amendment) Bill, 2023” with amendments. Senator Dr Humayun Mohmand, the mover of the bill, argued that the bill made DNA tests mandatory and compelled every police officer to test the rape victim upon examination. He added that the aim of the bill was to address the loopholes that allowed offenders to escape justice.

Moreover, the Senate panel deliberated on the bill titled “The Rehriban (Street Vendors) Livelihood Protection Bill, 2023.” Senator Sania Nishtar, the mover of the bill, argued that around one million street vendors in Pakistan were generating around Rs900 billion revenue annually. She added that the aim of the bill was to protect the rights of street vendors against the nexus of police officials, municipal staff and shopkeepers. Chairman senate Committee on Interior Senator Mohsin Aziz directed the CDA and Interior Ministry to submit a detailed report on the bill within the next 10 to 15 days.

Discussing the problems confronted by thousands of people residing in Karachi Malir in obtaining CNICs, Syed Agha Rafiullah, a former MNA, stated that it was unfortunate that they had sacrificed their lives for the country and chose to stay in Pakistan during the East Pakistan separation, yet the nation failed to recognize them as citizens. Caretaker Federal Minister for Interior, Sarfraz Bugti decided to conduct a meeting on the matter at the Interior Ministry and invited Syed Agha Rafiullah for consultation and the appropriate resolution of the matter.

Furthermore, the Senate committee took up the matter of the non-issuance of a notification for the upgrading of the position of Database Administrator from BPS-17 to BPS-18 and the induction of services into the regular cadre. Officials explained that the individual initially worked in the National Aliens Registration Authority as a Database Administrator in BPS-17 and decided to join Nadra upon the merger, subsequently being promoted to Deputy Director BPS-18 in 2018. Furthermore, the Establishment Division upgraded the position of Database Administrator from BPS-17 to BPS-18. However, the petitioner submitted an application for the merger of their services into the EX-DGR or a separate cadre, and the petition was rejected by the court and chairman Nadra. The committee disposed of the matter.

The committee also discussed the matter regarding the closure of Nadra Registration Centers in Dasht Kuddan and Dasht Balngivor, Tehsil Dast, District Ketch, Balochistan. Nadra officials explained that the centers could not be open due to pending security clearance from the Interior Ministry and the centers would functional in November. The committee directed the Interior Ministry to provide appropriate security for the efficient operation of these centres.