ISLAMABAD  -  Federal  Minister for Law and Justice Dr Farogh Naseem along with Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Barrister Maleeka Bukhari chaired meeting Monday to develop a comprehensive plan for ensuring protection of women in criminal justice system.

The meeting aimed at seeking suggestions from the stakeholders was attended by officials from provincial law departments, home departments and the police departments.

Maleeka Bukhari presented various proposed actions on the occasion including secondary legislation on existing laws like National Commission for the Rights of Child Act, 2017; Juvenile Justice System Act, 2018 and Implementation of anti-honour killing and anti-rape Laws.

Need for enactment of pending legislation was also stressed during the presentation. It was suggested that relevant provisions of Pakistan Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure might be amended in order to prevent public officials from misusing their authority. Since ‘qisas’ often results in compromise in honour crime cases, waiver of ‘qisas’ until completion of the trial was also proposed.

Prosecutor General Punjab Ihtisham Qadir suggested that prosecutors might be given increased authority in cases of rape and violence against women. The prosecutor should be able to give directions to the investigation officers.

He also stressed the need for admissibility of scientific evidence like DNA.

IG Gilgit Sanaullah Abbasi suggested increase in level of the investigator to DSP or ASP in order to protect the victim. He further suggested that ‘qisas’ and ‘diyat’ laws might be hardened to end compromise in cases pertaining to violence against women.

Bilal Kamyana, DIG Lahore said that misconception regarding ‘diyat’ laws should be removed as it did not apply in cases of intentional murder and murder in cold blood. Khawar Mumtaz and Fouzia Viqar were also present during the meeting while Barrister Ambreen Abbasi, deputy legislative advisor, was in attendance from the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The Federal Minister for Law and Justice thanked the participants for their valuable suggestions and asked them to share concrete proposals in coming days.