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NA bill suggests capital punishment for officials over deaths in custody

By Syed Irfan Raza 2022-08-02
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Monday passed a bill suggesting severe punishment for public office holders found responsible for death of suspects in custody.

Another bill about prevention of drug addiction and smuggling of drugs was also passed.

During the question hour, Noor Alam, a PTI dissident who recentlyjoined the ruling coalition, lashed out at the government for unbridled petrol prices in the country, saying despite a decline in its rate in the international market, the government was increasing the prices here.

The bill called `Custodial Death Prevention and Punishment Bill-2022` was presented by Minister of State for Interior Abdul Rehman Kanju. The bill is aimed at protecting a person during custody from all acts of torture perpetrated by public officials. The bill, which has been sent to the standing committee concerned, suggests death penalty under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for those public office-holders who are found guilty of custodial death.The house was apprised that the law will be enforced across the country.

`Any statement, information, and confession to be obtained by public official as result of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment would not be acceptable as evidence in the court of law and no action could be initiated against the victim,` the bill said.

According to it, the guilty public of fice holder would face one-year imprisonment, or a fine of Rs100,000, or both.

In case a person dies in custody, the of ficials responsible for it will be given the same punishment as prescribed under Section 302 of the PPC.

According to the bill, the offence will be non-bailable and there will be no provision of reconciliation. The con-victed official will have to file an appealin a high courtin 30 days and investigation against him will be conducted in a month`s time.

Another bill moved by Minister for Narcotics Control Shahzain Bugti to amend the Control of Narcotics Substances Act, 1997 {The Control of Narcotics Substances (Second Amendment) Bill,20221, was passed by the assembly.

Minister for Federal Education, Professional Training, National Heritage and Culture also moved a bill to establish Iqbal Academy for promotion of the thought of Allama Iqbal.

Noor Alam said the prices of petroleum products were declining the world over while they had beenincreased in Pakistan, adding that the industrial sector had been badly affected.

The MNA complained that Finance Minister Miftah Ismail did not attend the NA sessions. `Let him (finance minister) sell candies as he has failed to run the country.

Mr Alam demanded waiver of fuel adjustment charges for people in the areas where electricity was generated through dams.

Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz demanded provision of compensation, medicines and relief goods to the people badly affected by flash floods in the country.

During the question hour, minister Riaz Pirzada condemned the restric-tions on taking out Azadari (mourning) processions during Muharram.

Maulana Akbar Chitrali condemned a statement of PTI chairman Imran Khan that all those sitting in the National Assembly were Mushrik (non-believers). `Shirk (non-believing)is only related to Allah Almighty, meaning no political party can be called Mushrik ,` he added.

Minister Ayaz Sadiq called for formation of a parliamentary committee to ascertain a Financial Times report that `exposed foreign funding` of the PTI. `I will request the Election Commission to immediately announce (verdict) in the (prohibited funding) case as the party has received funding from India and Israel,` he claimed.