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Govt drops chemical castration as punishment for rapists after CII objection

The development was announced by Maleeka Bokhari. (Source: Dawn)

ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Maleeka Bokhari on Friday revealed that the government has removed a clause, allowing chemical castration as a punishment for serial rapists, from the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2o21, after objections raised by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).

“We have amended the criminal law, and decided that the chemical castration clause will be taken out,” Maleeka Bokhari said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad along with Law Minister Farogh Nasim.

Bokhari pointed out that the decision was taken after the Council of Islamic Ideology, a state-run body that interprets laws from an Islamic perspective, found chemical castration un-Islamic.

The clause was later omitted from the bill, she said, noting that “Article 227 of the Constitution also guarantees that all laws must be under the Shariah and the Holy Quran, hence we cannot pass any law that goes against these values.”

About the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Bill, 2021, Bokhari said the previous law had flaws that hampered the provision of justice to victims, hence a new law had been introduced to ensure swift dispensation of justice.

She explained that an anti-rape crisis cell would be set up in every district hospital for rapid medical examination of cases. “The government had promised to protect people’s rights and it did so by introducing necessary legislation,” she added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan-led federal government hurriedly passed nearly three dozen laws in a joint session of the parliament on Wednesday, including the anti-rape criminal law.

Chemical castration, which is carried out by the use of drugs and is reversible, can be a punishment for some sex crimes in countries including Poland, South Korea, the Czech Republic and some US states.

‘EVM controversy’

Taking over the presser today, Law Minister Nasim responded to reservations of the opposition parties regarding the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs).

He explained that while EVMs and the conventional voting system were not flawless to the core, analysis revealed that the former had facets that made electronic machines better than the old system.

“In the previous system, there were 10-15 weak areas to rig votes like double stamping, tearing of ballot paper or incorrect stamping. In contrast, an EVM is like a calculator and it goes live which is better than the earlier mechanism,” the minister added.

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