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Event Title: Senator Mohsin Aziz, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-09-28

Senator Mohsin Aziz, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, presided over a meeting to discuss proposed amendments to the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.

The meeting was attended by senators, including Saifullah Abro, Sherry Rehman, Samina Mumtaz Zehri, Shahadat Awan, Danesh Kumar, Dilawar Khan, and Kamil Ali Agha. Notable participants also included Senators Mushtaq Ahmed and Palwasha Muhammad Zai Khan, who contributed as bill movers. Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary Ministry of Interior, representatives from FIA, Ministry of Law, and CDA were also present

One of the key topics of discussion was “the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023," moved by Senator Mumtaz Zehri specifically focused on providing proper treatment and medico examination reports for rape victims through public and private hospitals. After thorough deliberation, the Committee passed the bill with unanimous approval, incorporating essential amendments.

Another significant topic was Senator Mushtaq Ahmad's proposed amendments to sections 375, 375A, and 376 of the PPC and Schedule-II of Cr. CP, aiming to omit section D and the public hanging of rapists. The bill was passed with majority votes and necessary amendments. Senators Sherry Rehman and Shahadat Awan expressed their concerns about the proposed punishment, emphasizing the need to avoid measures that might incite barbarism. The Ministry of Interior, in alignment with international treaties, opposed the bill.

The Committee also addressed the pressing issue of private jails and unanimously passed the "Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023," co-sponsored by Senators Mushtaq Ahmed and Samina Mumtaz Zehri. This bill seeks to deter false imprisonment and private jails within residences, an issue acknowledged by representatives from the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Interior.

In the course of the session, the Committee also discussed other bills, including "The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2023" moved by Senator Fawzia Arshad, related to the omission of section 124A of PPC and schedule-II of Cr. CP, which was temporarily rejected due to its subjudice status. Additionally, "The Federal Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2023" proposed by Senator Zarqa Suharwardy was also rejected.

Addressing environmental concerns, the Committee unanimously passed the "Rain Water Harvesting Facility in Urban Areas, Bill 2023," moved by Senator Palwasha Mohammad Zai Khan. This legislation emphasizes the efficient utilization of rainwater, crucial in mitigating the depleting water table. CDA representative also supported the bill, acknowledging its potential to fortify existing regulations.

During the meeting, Senator Irfan Siddiqui raised concerns about the bill missing for almost 15 months that was introduced in the Interior Committee and subsequently passed by both houses of the Parliament. The Chair decided to draft a formal letter to the principal secretary of the Prime Minister's office and the Secretary of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, requesting a detailed report on the matter. In the event of no response in a week, both officials will be summoned for further discussion in the committee.