Bill seeking protection of women, children and elderly from domestic abuse presented in NA

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The Domestic Violence (Protection and Prevention) Bill 2020, that seeks to prevent domestic abuse against women, children, the elderly and vulnerable persons, was presented in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

As per contents of the bill, domestic abuse has been includes physically aggressive acts like hitting, kicking, slapping, and throwing objects as well as emotionally abusive acts like threats, emotional and economic abuse.

The provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan have already enacted legislation to address the issue of domestic violence at provincial levels. The Ministry of Human Rights has drafted a Bill to protect rights of those vulnerable from the abuse, at the federal level.

The Bill aims to establish an effective system of protection, relief and rehabilitation of women, children, elders and other vulnerable persons against domestic violence in the territorial jurisdiction of Islamabad Capital Territory. It will provide relief to victims of domestic violence who are in domestic relationship and are related to each other by consanguinity, marriage and kinship etc.

The Bill also empowers courts to grant interim orders, protection custody and residence orders as well as award monetary relief to victims of violence at the expense of respondent. The Bill also envisages the creation of a Protection Committee to assist the aggrieved person and process his/her application in court. Ministry of Human Rights arranged number of consultations with the relevant stakeholders and also obtained No Objection Certificate from Ministry of Interior being the relevant Ministry to deal with the issues of violence.

A final round of consultations were held with by the Ministry of Human Resources with Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Minister for Science and Technology, Barrister Mirza Shahzad Akbar, State Minister for Interior/Special Assistant to PM (SAPM) and Faroogh Naseem, Minister for Law and Justice to finalize the Bill.