LHC rues delay in anti-rape ordinance

Staff Reporter

The Lahore High Court in a judgment on Wednesday ruled that providing protection to women against sexual violence is more important than new legislation.

In a written verdict comprising nine pages, Justice Ali Zia Bajwa said that despite lapse of seven months, the anti-rape ordinance could not be enacted so far.

“Anti-rape law is a good legislation but its enforcement is responsibility of the state. The probe of the offence requires appointment of a woman investigation officer,” the bench stressed in its judgment.

The decision blasted the police department for non-implementation of the ordinance and said that the police have made thousands serious violations of the law.

“Resources were used in some rape cases due to the electronic and social media, but provision of justice in selected cases is big injustice,” according to the verdict. “It is an injustice not to inquire into cases of the victims of sexual violence.”

“Failing to enforce the law is the root of the evil. State officials are powerless to enforce the law, owing to the lack of resources and skill,” according to the ruling.

“It was a challenge to enforce the anti-rape ordinance, unfortunately the government has failed till date to implement it,” the court verdict said.

“The failure to implement the anti-rape law is equal to a crime, trying to evade enforcement of the law is violation of the constitution,” the LHC verdict said.

The judge ruled that police reasons for non-enforcement of the law were unacceptable and the Punjab IG Police should ensure enforcement of the anti-rape ordinance.

The DIG failed to give a satisfactory reply on question about failure in implementation of the law.

“Rape and sexual violence could destroy a woman’s life. The rape victims have to face untrained investigation officials, harsh medical examination, despicable questioning and social degradation,” the court observed.

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