Pakistan govt removes castration clause from rape law

08:44 PM Nov 19, 2021 | PTI |

Islamabad: In a U-turn, Pakistan on Friday dropped the controversial clause of chemical castration of habitual rapists from new legislation after the Council of Islamic Ideology objected to the punishment, describing it as ”un-Islamic”.


The development comes after Parliament passed the new legislation that aims to speed up convictions and impose tougher sentences. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was among the 33 bills passed by the parliament in its joint sitting on Wednesday.

Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Maleeka Bokhari said at a press conference that the clause providing for castration was dropped in the light of objections raised by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).

The CII is a constitutional body of Pakistan, responsible for giving legal advice on Islamic issues to the government and Parliament.

Addressing the media along with Law Minister Farogh Nasim in Islamabad, she said the CII had termed the punishment of chemical castration for rapists as ”unIslamic”.


”Article 227 of the Constitution also guarantees that all laws must be under the Shariah and the Holy Quran, hence we cannot pass any law that goes against these values,” Bokhari said, adding that the clause was later omitted from the bill before passed by the joint session.

She said the punishment of castration was deleted after a detailed discussion by a government committee under the guidance of the law minister.

The bill is a response to a public outcry against a recent spike in incidents of rape of women and children in the country and growing demands for effectively curbing the crime.

The passage of the bill comes almost a year after President Arif Alvi approved the new anti-rape ordinance that was cleared by the Pakistan Cabinet, calling for the chemical castration of rapists with the consent of the convict and setting up of special courts for speedy trials.

The castration of rapists was proposed by Prime Minister Imran Khan in September last year in a TV interview after the rape of a woman on a motorway near Lahore in the presence of her minor children.

Subsequently, an ordinance was promulgated in December last year to provide for chemical castration for habitual offenders or first-time rapists depending on the nature of the crime.

However, objections were raised against the ordinance, including by the CII which last month termed it Un-Islamic to punish someone with castration.

Chemical castration is the use of drugs to reduce sexual activity. It is a legal form of punishment in countries including South Korea, Poland, the Czech Republic, and some states in the US, according to media reports.

Critics say fewer than 4 percent of sexual assault or rape cases in Pakistan result in a conviction.


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