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Pak to set up special courts for speedy trial of rape cases


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Pakistan government is all set to promulgate next week an ordinance seeking establishment of special courts for speedy trial of rape cases, according to a media report.

Under the proposed law, rape cases would not be investigated by ordinary police officials and only a gazetted officer up to the level of DIG (deputy inspector general) or SSP (senior superintendent of police) would monitor these cases, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan told Dawn News.

Awan said the proposed law also suggested steps for speedy disposal of cases.

He said this after Prime Minister Imran Khan through a tweet announced that the government had planned to bring a “stringent and holistic anti-rape ordinance closing all loopholes”.

Awan, who is also a member of the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases, said the prime minister was very much concerned over the recent incidents of rape in different parts of the country.

He said the ordinance had been drafted in line with the prime minister’s directives to his legal team for preparing the law covering “four sides”, including protection of the victim so that her personal trauma could not become public and protection of witnesses.

Giving details, he said the properties of the convicts in such cases would be forfeited for paying compensation to the victims.   In order to create deterrence in the society, he said, “ultimate and stringent punishments” would be awarded to the culprits.

He did not elaborate the measures which the law suggests for this purpose, but ruled out the option of public hanging as demanded by several political leaders, including some ministers.

Awan said special courts would be set up in all the divisions to prevent delay in completion of the trials.

He said in the last few years, over 21,000 rape cases were registered in the country and “only few hundreds of them could go for trial”.      To cover the loopholes and ensure timely justice, a new and separate prosecution network was being created, the adviser told the daily.


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