Civil society representatives on Wednesday unanimously agreed to rename the Amendment Act 2011. At a meeting organised by National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), the civil society members decided to rename the bill as ‘Prevention of Domestic Violence Act’.
Discussing the prescribed punishments, they suggested that the culprit should face both; imprisonment and fine.
Earlier, the law committee of NCSW proposed some amendments in the Pakistan Penal Code with reference to domestic violence.
Some definitions of the offences, which constitute domestic violence, were made to determine and prescribe the level of punishments.
NCSW Chairperson Anis Haroon said the provinces have already been taken on board for introducing the legislation on the subject and some progress has been made on this front in three provinces.
“However, we still feel that there is a need to have some sort of legislation on the subject at the federal level as well.”
For this reason, she said, the NCSW has prepared some amendments to criminalise domestic violence under the existing penal code.
In the consultation, the proposed amendments were thoroughly examined and reviewed by the participants, who debated on all aspects including definitions and corresponding punishments of the bill and came up with some practical recommendations.
Some participants also suggested psychological counseling of the accused during imprisonment, which was endorsed by many others. Moreover, they voiced that pregnant women, forced to work in the field, should also be considered as violence.
The recommendations will be sent to the NCSW law committee, which after approval will be tabled before the Ministry of Human Rights.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2011.