Punjab brings acid cases under anti-terrorism act

Published: September 15, 2012
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First case tried awarded two death sentences, life imprisonment and Rs1.2 million. PHOTO: FILE

First case tried awarded two death sentences, life imprisonment and Rs1.2 million. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: In an effort to provide legal protection to women, the Punjab government has tightened the noose in acid-throwing cases.

A significant punishment – death sentence on two counts, life-time imprisonment and a fine of Rs1.2 million – was awarded to an accused who burnt his wife alive, a day after the Punjab government issued a notification in this regard.

The Punjab government has directed the police and prosecution departments that Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997 be added in all cases regarding the throwing of acid, kerosene and petrol on women across the province and that such an offence should be tried exclusively in the anti-terrorism courts (ATC). The notification was issued by the Home Department on September 5. The Punjab government has finally made amendments to the laws, Jahangir said.

After obtaining approval from the provincial cabinet, the Home Department issued a notification in which cases of throwing acid, kerosene oil or petrol are brought under the fold of the act.

The recent judgment announced by ATC no 1 Faisalabad, in which the court awarded two time death sentence and life time imprisonment along with fine of Rs 1.2 million to the accused Gulzar Ahmad on charges of killing of his wife Ramzana Bibi, came on the heels of the new notification.

According to the contents of the case registered with the Faisalabad Police, Ramzana’s hands were tied by her husband before he threw kerosene on her and burnt her alive.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • yellow
    Sep 15, 2012 - 2:20PM

    great step

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  • IceSoul
    Sep 15, 2012 - 2:25PM

    The problem is not the lack of laws in Pakistan, its the lack of implementation.

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  • Sep 15, 2012 - 11:06PM

    @IceSoul: True, but there wasn’t a law for special prosecution of these cases either. And now there is. Now, instead of getting off with lighter sentences, these men will face a very severe cost for their actions. This can change the discourse around acid throwing: the rules have been made clearer, and citizens and civil society can now lobby for implementation of the law instead of just recognition of the problem.

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  • Abubakar
    Sep 17, 2012 - 3:57PM

    Very much appreciated policy and most importantly the implementation straight away. I guess not a surprize when you have Shehbaz Sharif as Chief Minister … The guy is man of his words and action …. Other provinces must show some guts and sincerity too despite always doing mere talks …

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