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October 15, 2019

Bill to protect women from domestic violence tabled in KP Assembly


October 15, 2019

PESHAWAR: The much-awaited legislation to protect women from domestic violence was moved in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday, but the bill was referred to the select committee of the house after some of the members sought amendments to the proposed law.

Provincial Minister for Food Qalandar Lodhi tabled the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Domestic Violence against Women (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2019 in the assembly. Some lawmakers from the treasury and opposition benches proposed the amendments to the bill.

Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Sultan Mohammad Khan requested the chair to refer the bill to the select committee to ensure detailed discussion on it. Jamaat-e-Islami Member Provincial Assembly Inayatullah Khan and JamiatUlema Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F)’s MunawwarKhan said that the proposed law should be sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) as they felt certain clauses in it were against the basic teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Under the proposed bill, domestic violence means the violence committed by the accused against the victim with whom the accused is in a relationship.

After the passage of the bill, the provincial government would constitute in each district a protection committee to deal with the domestic violence against women. The proposed law suggests punishment to the accused and those who file false and frivolous complaints. The provincial government will also establish shelter homes and launch a toll-free helpline for reporting the violence-related incidents in the province.

The proposed law was drafted during the rule of the previous government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf(PTI) and sent for consultation to the CII, which rejected several of its portions.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly also passed a bill related to enforcement of women’s rights in the inherited properties. JUI-F woman MPA NaeemaKishwar had proposed amendments to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Enforcement of Women Property Rights, but none of these were approved and the bill was adopted by a majority.

The bill states that the Constitution of Pakistan provides due respect to the women in the society and guarantees their right of ownership. However, it noted that the women rights in inheritances are often violated by their family members using coercion, fraud, fabrication, forgery and cheating.

Under the proposed law, any complainant can approach the ombudsperson for getting their share in the inherited properties. The provincial assembly also adopted the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Legal Aid Bill which would provide legal assistance to the marginalised sections of the society and needy persons involved in cases of petty nature.

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