PTI, PML-N, PPP vote against bill on public hanging of rape accused

PTI, PML-N, PPP vote against bill on public hanging of rape accused

JI senator Mushtaq Ahmed presented a bill demanding public executions
PTI, PML-N, PPP vote against bill on public hanging of rape accused

Web Desk

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20 Feb 2024

A proposed amendment to the criminal code, seeking the implementation of public hanging for the rape accused was rejected on Monday by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in Senate, the upper house of parliament.

During a farewell session of the Senate chaired by Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Jamaat-e-Islami senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan presented a bill proposing amendment in the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, demanding public executions.

Underscoring the necessity of the bill, Senator Khan pointed to the increasing number of rape cases, resulting in 1,122 sex offenses in the last five years in KP alone, as revealed in a report.

He furthered his argument, stating that the police arrested 581 individuals, of whom 494 were acquitted, and only 87 were convicted. 

According to the JI senator, 341 of the suspects were booked for raping women, but only 23 were sentenced.

Elaborating on the sluggish process of convicting criminals, Senator Mushtaq mentioned, "152 people accused of raping children were released, while courts sentenced only 64 of them. In the first six months of 2023, 12 children were targeted for sexual assault every month."

In a divided vote, the upper legislature rejected the bill. Out of the 38 lawmakers present, 24 were against the legislation, while 14 senators endorsed the bill.

The bill encountered resistance primarily from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and National Party. In contrast, a majority of members from Jamaat-e-Islami, PML-Q, JUI-F, and some within the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lent their support to the proposed legislation.

Senator Sherry Rehman from the PPP voiced her opposition, citing concerns that public hanging gives rise to barbarism. She underscored the PPP's stance against the death penalty for rape and stressed for enhancing policing rather than solely relying on death penalty laws.

PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui also contested the bill, asserting that hangings should be restricted to the gallows. Senator Ishaq Dar from the PML-N also expressed opposition, stating they are against public hanging since the death penalty is already a part of the law.

PTI senator Barrister Ali Zafar opposed the bill as well. While supporting the existing law that includes the death penalty, he emphasized opposition to public hanging. Barrister Ali Zafar advocated for improvements to the justice system rather than resorting to public executions and hangings on the streets.

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