The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2021 moved by Law Minister Farogh Naseem.
A meeting of the standing committee was held under the chairmanship of Senator Ali Zafar at the Parliament House on Monday.
Senators Shibli Faraz, Azam Khan Swati, Azam Nazeer Tarar, Kamran Murtaza, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Walid Iqbal, Manzoor Ahmed Kakar, Musadik Malik, Samina Mumtaz, Naseem and senior officials from the Ministry of Law and Justice were in attendance.
Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar was of the view that in presence of capital punishment there was no need to put offenders behind bars for the remainder of their natural life as it would put unnecessary financial burden on the national exchequer.
Senator Musadiq Malik said, “It’s better to give offenders death sentence rather than keeping them in jails for rest of their life.”
Medical costs incurred due to comorbidities of aged inmates will be formidable paid through taxpayer money, he added.
Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar argued that focus of the legislation should be to create a deterrent. He said that certainty of the punishment is a greater deterrent than severity of the punishment. “Flawed criminal justice system should be amended in order to reduce the number of under-trial prisoners.”
Replying to the questions raised by committee members, the law minister argued that the number of offenders booked under this law would be very minimal and the cost would not be that substantial.
The committee members also briefly discussed the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Bill 2021.
Committee members sought time from the chair to further study the contents of the bill and come up for discussion in the next committee meeting.
The committee deferred the deliberations on the bill and commented that this is a very important legislation and should be tabled in a matured form without too much delay.
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