ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday unanimously passed a private member bill proposing imprisonment and fine against perpetrators of torture in custody and custodial rapes and death.
The House by adopting the bill moved by Senator Farhatullah Babar fulfilled the requirement of the UN Convention on Torture signed by Pakistan in 2008 and ratified in 2010 by the Cabinet that bars torture in custody.
Mover of the bill Senator Babar said ratification of the UN Convention required enabling legislation to reflect the definition and punishment for torture and with this legislation Pakistan will win appreciation of international community.
For punishments in case of torture, this bill provides that whosoever commits, or abets or conspires to commit torture shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not less than five yeras and may extend to 10 years and with fine that may extend to Rs one million.
It says that any public servant or any other person who has a duty to prevent and either intentionally or negligently fail to prevent the commission of torture shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not less than three years which may extend to five years and with fine that may extend to Rs 500,000.
In both categories, if the amount of bill is recovered, shall be given to the victim. In case of fine is not recovered, additional imprisonment shall be awarded that may extend to three years.
About punishments in case of custodial rape or death, the bill provides that whosoever commits or abets or conspires to commit the offence of custodial death or custodial rape, shall be punished with imprisonment for life and with fine which may extend to Rs three million.
Furthermore, any public servant or any other person who has a duty to act and either intentionally or negligently fails to prevent the commission of the offence of custodial death or custodial rape shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not less than seven years which may extend to ten years and with fine which may extend to Rs one million.
The fine if recovered shall be paid to the legal heirs of the victim or to the victim as the case may be. In case the fine is not recovered additional imprisonment shall be awarded which may extend to five years.
About custody of females, the bill states that no female shall be detained in order to extract information regarding the whereabouts of a person abused of any offence or to extract evidence from such female.
Moreover, no female shall be taken or held in custody by a male, only a female public servant can lawfully take a female into custody.
The bill further states that every offence punishable under this act shall be cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable within the meaning of the Code of criminal Procedure 1898.
The bill also include the provisions like investigation into a complaint filed by a victim and also ensure protection to the complainant who files complaint against any accused charging for torture.