Senate Committee Advances ‘Criminal Laws Amendment Bill 2023 to Tackle False Accusations and Malicious Prosecution in Pakistan

In a recent development in Pakistan, the Senate Standing Committee on Interior unanimously passed several significant bills aimed at addressing pressing legal and societal issues.

First, the committee approved the ‘Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023,’ which seeks to extend the duration of punishment for crimes like false accusations and malicious criminal prosecution. This amendment targets the rising problem of baseless allegations and wrongful legal actions, amending Section 182 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Schedule-II of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Secondly, the ‘Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) (Amendment) Bill, 2023’ was also passed with amendments. This bill mandates DNA tests for rape cases and makes it obligatory for police officers to conduct these tests on rape victims during examinations. The goal is to close legal loopholes that have allowed offenders to evade justice in such cases.

Additionally, the committee deliberated on the ‘Rehriban (Street Vendors) Livelihood Protection Bill, 2023.’ This legislation aims to protect the rights of approximately one million street vendors in Pakistan who generate substantial annual revenue. Currently regulated by Municipal Corporations, street vendors often face challenges posed by corrupt practices involving police officials, municipal staff, and shopkeepers. Senator Aziz, leading the committee, directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Interior Ministry to provide a detailed report on the bill’s implications in the next 10 to 15 days.

These legislative measures represent important steps in addressing critical issues in Pakistan’s legal and social landscape, with a focus on ensuring justice, protecting vulnerable populations, and combatting corruption.

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