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Current Affairs

Opposition to domestic violence bill in Pakistan

Date: 09 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A domestic law that imposes stringent punishment for domestic violence is receiving backlash from many sections in Pakistan.

 

Background

The government has asked its National Assembly to send the bill to Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) for review.

 

Details

  • The controversial legislation is named Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2021 and introduced by government to reduce domestic violence.

  • The punishment imposed under the new law is considered stringent. Any individual involved in domestic violence is punishable by imprisonment.

  • A minimum of six months and a maximum term of three years can be imposed for the offence. Fines in range of Rs 20,000 and 100,000 can also be imposed.

  • Sections such as children, elderly, women and other vulnerable groups will be protected under the new law. Rehabilitation of victim will also be undertaken.

 

The opposition

  • The opposition is regarding the use of definition and other contents in the bill. It is said to contravene the Islamic ideology and ways defined under Article 31 of Pakistani constitution.

  • The bill has incorporated broad definition of what is domestic violence.

  • It speaks about the domestic violence in context of physical violence and mental trauma that is taking place without consent. Some say these words have increased the loop holes.

 

Importance of law

  • Hardliners have demanded that the law be sent for review or repealed. Liberals and reformist sections have welcomed the law as futuristic.

  • The incidence of domestic violence has increased during pandemic. The Global Gender Gap Index showed that Pakistan occupied 151st position out of 153 countries.