Stories about pakistan penal code

Will Pakistan’s lawyers get away with murder?

A lawyer, in essence, is an officer of the law and is therefore, bound by a solemn duty to adhere to a strict set of standards and ethics defined by the canon of professional conduct and etiquette of advocates. Additionally, lawyers are also expected to follow the rules and guidelines that are mentioned in the legal practitioners’ and bar councils’ rules. In short, they are that expected to exhibit behaviour congruent with someone who has been designated to uphold and protect the rule of law. However, I admit with a heavy heart that the actions of the legal fraternity on ...

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Understanding Pakistan’s sexual harassment law – Part II

This article is part of a series which will try to answer several questions surrounding the law on sexual harassment in Pakistan. The aim is to allow people to understand what the legal regime on this issue is, how it works, and what needs to change. Read part one here. ~ In my previous article in this series I wrote about how section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code makes sexual harassment a criminal offence. However, as I argued, structural patriarchy in terms of the court system and the police pose obstacles for victims of sexual harassment from coming forward. To conclude ...

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The deepening crisis: child rights in a negative society

On July 17th every year, we celebrate the ‘World Day on International Justice’. Over 120 countries adopted this statute at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Rome, creating a permanent international court to task criminals. The anniversary is for taking a day out to reflect on the successes and challenges of bringing justice and countering violence. The recent United Nations (UN) casualty report has greatly undermined the gravity of the deepening crisis clearly demonstrating undue favouritism to certain countries that have been accused of the violation of child rights. One of the biggest casualty counts is the Yemen crisis, led by Saudi Arabia ...

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How many Ahsans, Amals, Aqsas, Intezars, Nimras, Sajjads will we lose to police encounters?

Conducting encounters to catch criminals, only to end up killing innocent people, has become a favourite pastime for our law enforcement agencies (LEAs). Just a few months ago, we saw the brutal massacre of four people, including a woman and her teenage daughter, in Sahiwal. In yet another case of the innocent paying the price for police negligence, a toddler has lost his life after being fatally shot during an encounter between the police and dacoits in Karachi. Two-year-old Mohammad Ahsan Shaikh was travelling in a rickshaw with his parents when a bullet hit him, and when his father got ...

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Can winking and staring be considered criminal offences under Section 509 of the PPC?

Although the #MeToo movement has not taken off across class barriers or transgressed the rural-urban divide in Pakistan – the way it has in India – it’s already the cause of much alarm. Many are perturbed about the consequences of anarchic media trials. Men worry that one can put up an allegation on Facebook or Twitter and open a trial without any of the procedural protections a court trial would offer both parties – the accuser and the accused. These include lawyers, time to prepare, rebuttals and neutral adjudicators. However, the #MeToo movement contests this position. Legal remedy is not the ...

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If Pakistan follows Saudi Arabia’s footsteps, why not take a leaf from its sexual harassment law also?

One would think that the loose cannon that is the rising monarch of Saudi Arabia, long since the world’s Muslim hegemony, would not have thought all its radical initiatives through. And with good reason too. But recent endeavours are making us think otherwise. From where we stood, the lifting of the decades-long driving ban for women, only weeks from being set into motion, was nothing if not far flung. But it’s now being tailed by an impressive pre-emptive measure. Put short, Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) Vision 2030 might just be a concrete plan, and not just a ludicrous ...

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It is unreasonable to deprive students from the harassment law’s purview

In 2010, after an effective campaign led by the Alliance against Sexual Harassment (AASHA), Parliament enacted ‘The Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace’ (PHWW). Little did people know that this statute would change the way we see, and often condone sexual harassment in our society. From a handful of cases filed in the initial years, the number of claims began to rise. Mostly women, but even some men, complained to in-house workplace inquiry committees set up under the law. These inquiry committees comprise three members chosen from the workplace itself. Their decision could result in major or minor penalties against ...

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Our society needs drama’s like Sammi

The most recent episode of the on-going serial Sammi is all about how brilliantly Mawra Hocane and Sania Saeed have performed. Sammi, airing on Hum TV every Sunday, talks about the prevalent custom of vanni in Pakistan. According to Pakistan’s Penal Code, vanni is a custom that is outlawed and has a fine imposed along with imprisonment for anyone who practices it. However, the state organs are weak and vanni continues to be practised in many parts of Pakistan. Simply because the cultural practice has a stronghold in the country and the predominant jirga system has now been given constitutional cover. Through these dramas, however, one can hope that more and more ...

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Why is our criminal justice system punishing a paranoid schizophrenic?

The mere mention of a crime engages our natural thought process into gauging a punishment for it. Some would just ask what punishment a specific crime entails, some of us would delve into arguing what purpose a particular punishment serves, while others would discuss whether a punishment is adequate or not. We all have our own thought processes and ideologies about what is acceptable as a punishment. However, what is important is to remember the basic idea behind it is. The purpose ranges from retributive to utilitarian to rehabilitative. All punishments must serve some purpose otherwise it would be a futile exercise to impose any form ...

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Who should be blamed for Punjab police’s inefficiency?

The big story in the news recently has been the kidnapping of children in Punjab. This year, as many as 767 children have been abducted from various cities of Punjab, including the provincial capital of Lahore. This means that 767 families have gone through hell this year.  Last year, the number stood at 1200 kidnappings. Bear in mind these are just the reported numbers. All this points to organised crime rampant in Pakistan’s largest and supposedly most secure province. What, one must wonder, is the Punjab government doing and where are its law enforcement agencies, especially the police? A word about ...

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