Women Protection Act: Shariat Court reserves verdict

Petitioners have filed a petition against the Women Protection Act 2006, saying Hudood clauses should be re-inserted.


Azam Khan November 24, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) on Tuesday reserved its judgment on the Women Protection Act. A three-member bench headed by FSC Chief Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmad comprising Justice Afzal Haider and Justice Shahzado Sheikh was hearing identical petitions filed before the FSC between 2007 and 2010 against the Women Protection Act 2006 (WPA).

Petitioners Muhammad Akhtar, Abdul Latif Sufi and Mian Abdul Razzaq have filed a petition against the Women Protection Act 2006. Their stance being that clauses removed from Hudood Ordinance should be re-inserted so that people in an Islamic State may live their lives in accordance with the Islamic laws and principles.

The petitioners contented that clauses 365-B, 367-A, 371-A & B, 493-A and 496-A inserted in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), through WPA 2006, were against the Islamic laws therefore, they should be removed from the PPC while restoring the Hudood Ordinance.

The matter has been under debate before the FSC for several months. During proceedings, the FSC also examined laws pertaining to Zina (adultery) and Qazf (levelling untrue allegations of Zina) commonly known as the Hudood Ordinance of 1979, promulgated during General Ziaul Haq’s regime.

Clause 365-B talks about kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman, compelling her for marriage, 367-A mentions kidnapping or abducting in order to subject a person to unlawful lust, 371-A talks about selling and buying a person for purposes of prostitution, 493-A describes cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage and 496-A highlights enticing or taking away or detaining a woman with criminal intent. The court, after hearing the case, restored its judgment.

Legal experts say under the Protection of Women Act, 2006, only the sessions court (on a complaint) may take cognisance of such cases. The offence has been made bailable so that the accused is not jailed during trial.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2010.

COMMENTS (3)

Rashid Rehman | 10 years ago | Reply The verdict is discriminatory inconflict of constitutional guarantee the forum has lost its legal justification to remain in the constitution.
Rashid Rehman | 10 years ago | Reply The court verdict is based on discrimination which is clear violation of the constitutional guarantee against discrimination on the basis of sex. The FSC has lost its legal footings becuase no institution should be allowed to commit outrageous act with supreme law of the land.
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