On Tuesday, President Dr Arif Alvi approved the Anti-Rape Ordinance 2020, which will ensure the speedy prosecution of cases of rape involving women and children as victims and will also enable those guilty of such crimes to be chemically castrated.
A statement released by the President House confirmed that special courts for speedy trials of suspects of sexual harassment will be created across the country under the ordinance. The trials, the statement said, will have to tie up the proceedings within four months.
Under the ordinance, Anti-Rape Crisis Cells of the Prime Minister will also be formed to be responsible for performing medico-legal review within six hours of the incident.
With the support of the National Database and Registration Authority, a countrywide register of sex offenders will also be created (Nadra).
Under the ordinance, it will be illegal to reveal victims’ names and ruled a criminal crime, the statement added. Police and government officers who display incompetence in investigating the crimes will be incarcerated along with the imposition of fines for three years. In addition, it will also prosecute police and government authorities who give misleading evidence.
Serial criminals, the declaration read, must be medically castrated under the supervision of a notified board.
It also claimed that the prime minister would set up a fund from which funds would be used to set up special courts, while the federal and provincial governments would also distribute grants to the fund. Local, national and foreign governments, along with non-governmental organisations and individuals, will also be of assistance.
The ordinance comes months after the gang-rape incident on the motorway that sparked an outpouring of outrage across the country and forced public attention on sexual harassment against women.
Read Also: Supreme Court announces winter break
In November, Prime Minister Imran Khan declared that the government would implement a “stringent and holistic anti-rape ordinance closing all loopholes” following an incident involving the alleged rape of a woman and her minor daughter in Sindh’s Kashmore district.