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Government to establish special courts to fast track rape cases

Government to establish special courts to fast track rape cases

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The government has declared that it will promulgate an ordinance to set up special courts in order to fast track rape cases.

The ordinance will also suggest steps for the protection of witnesses and the creation of a separate prosecution network for this purpose. This news comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweet announcing that the government will bring a ‘stringent and holistic anti-rape ordinance to close all loopholes’. The prime minister also referred to ASI Muhammed Bakhsh Buriro in his tweet, lauding him and his daughter for their initiative and courage. ASI Buriro and his daughter were instrumental in the arrest of the culprits of the recent gang-rape of a mother and her 4 year old daughter, in Kashmore.

The government’s plans to put forward an anti-rape ordinance come after a harrowing few months of multiple gruesome rape incidents occurring across Pakistan, such as the motorway rape incident and the gang-rape of two sisters in Faisalabad. 

Babar Awan, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, said that under this new ordinance rape cases would not be investigated by ordinary police officers, instead a gazetted officer, going up to the level of a senior superintendent of police (SSP) or deputy inspector general (DIG) would monitor these cases. 

Babar Awan also said that in the last few years over 21,000 rape cases were registered but “only few hundreds of them could go for trial”. He said that in order to deter would-be rapists “ultimate and stringent punishments” would be handed out those convicted for the crime of rape. But, he did state that the punishment would not be public hanging of the rapists, despite it being a popular demand by the general public and some politicians. He also stated that under this new law the properties of those convicted in rape cases would be forfeited in order to provide compensation to the victims.   

Babar Awan also elaborated that the special courts would be set up in all divisions to prevent delays in the completion of the trials.

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