GROUNDBREAKING: Bill to ‘chemically castrate’ child abusers passed by AJK assembly

If a person sexually exploits children under the age of 18, the court will have the authority to convict him to death, life imprisonment, or deprive him of the sexual ability.

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The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Assembly has passed a bill, allowing for chemical or surgical castration as a punishment for people who are found guilty of child sexual abuse.

On July the 1st, the AJK Assembly approved the bill called the Criminal Law (Third Amendment Act 2020), under the leadership of Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir.

While discussing the Criminal Amendment Act, the Minister for Disaster Management Authority, Ahmad Raza Qadri, said pedophilia has become common in our society and this is why the law has been presented.

Qadri added that under the law, if a person sexually exploits children under the age of 18, the court will have the authority to convict him to death, life imprisonment, or deprive him of any further sexual ability. If a person attempts to commit the horrendous crime, he could be sentenced to jail for 5 to 10 years.

The Minister noted that earlier, due to the lack of social support and trivial punishments in the present law, people were reluctant to report such incidents.

Similarly, in the Hudood law, the process of testimony gets most of the innocent people trapped and the criminals acquitted.

Qadri said that to prevent the law from being misused, the inquiry would be carried out by at least a DSP-level officer. Moreover, the trial session court would be compelled to decide the case within 60 days.

If the cases are not settled within the specified time, the court would have to provide a valid reason and seek permission from the apex court for an extension.

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