The National Assembly Standing Committee on Women Development approved the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill 2010 on Saturday and referred it to the assembly for passage.
The bill was introduced last year by MNAs Marvi Memon, Begum Shahnaz Sheikh and Advocate Anusha Rehman in a bid to prevent growing incidents of violence against women. After much scrutiny, the committee approved the bill which further amends the Pakistan Penal Code 1860.
The amendment in Section 336-B states, “Whoever causes hurt by corrosive substance shall be punished with imprisonment for life or imprisonment of either description which shall not be less than fourteen years and a minimum fine of one million rupees.”
The new insertion in Section 336-A states, “Whosoever with intention or knowingly causes or attempts to cause hurt by means of a corrosive substance or any substance which is deleterious to human body when it is swallowed, inhaled, come in contact or received into human body or otherwise shall be said to cause hurt by corrosive substance.”
It explains disfigurement as “disfigurement of face or disfigurement or dismemberment of any organ or any part of the organ of the human body which impairs or injures or corrodes or deforms the symmetry or appearance of a person.”
The key mover of the bill, Memon, said that her motivation came after the acid attack on Maria Shah in Shikarpur, who later succumbed to burn injuries. “I promised Maria at her deathbed to bring a law which would ensure that her culprits are punished”, she added.
The committee’s chairperson, Bushra Goher, said the bill was another step taken by the parliament for the protection of women. Previously, the committee passed Women Protection Bill and Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill 2010.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2011.
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