KARACHI: The Sindh government has presented two important bills- the Sindh Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act and the Anti-Honour Killings Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill in the Sindh Assembly to counter honour killing and acid throwing incidents in the province. The bills have been moved by the women development department.
As per the law, honour killing will be considered murder and the station house officer (SHO) concerned will be required to register the case under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code. “Murder under the pretext of honour killing also known as karo-kari is a non-compoundable offence, which cannot be compromised by the victim and the offender,” says the law, adding that capital punishment or life-imprisonment will be awarded to those found guilty of committing the offence.
Once the bill is passed, Sindh will become the first province to pass a ruling against honour killings.
Moreover, the Sindh Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention has also been drafted by the Ministry of Women Development, is under consideration in the law department. The bill highlights that if any person is attacked with acid, monetary relief will be given to the victim to meet their medical and rehabilitation expenses, especially in cases where the medical board recommends treatment at private or foreign medical institutions.
“If any acid victim passes away, the court may, on an application on behalf of the victim’s legal heirs, direct the government to provide an appropriate compensation to the victim’s legal heirs at par with diyat,” reads the law. It also calls for establishing an acid victim compensation fund which shall be maintained by the government through the women development department. The law further elaborates that health centres run by the government will provide quick and free medical treatment and in case of unavailability of such medical facilities, the case shall be referred to private medical facilities. In addition, the medical facilities must report cases of acid attacks to police authorities on a priority basis so that a case is lodged and investigated promptly.
The law deems acid throwing cases to be non-bailable offences and the person proven of being involved in the act shall be imprisoned for no less than five years.