IHC seeks law ministry’s comments on legislation about corporal punishment

ISLAMABAD:Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday sought comments from Ministry of Law and Justice till March 12, in a petition praying for the legislation against corporal punishment on children. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that particular mindset for giving corporal punishment to children, should be changed.

The same mindset could be a basis for other offenses against the children, he added. CJ Athar Minallah conducted hearing on a petition moved by renowned singer Shehzad Roy against the corporal punishment on children. At the outset of hearing, the chief justice remarked that the society can’t be changed with open execution of convict persons rather there was a need to change the behaviors. He further noted that the punishment incident couldn’t surface if there was no media. Justice Minallah said that political leadership and Parliament will have to play their role in changing the mindset in this regard.

Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mizari said that the cabinet had also approved a bill in this regard. However, the law ministry stated that this matter was associated with Ministry of Interior which referred this issue to Council of Islamic Ideology, she added. She said that the Council had also opposed the corporal punishment.

The chief justice remarked that why the interior minister referred this matter to Council. Justice Minallah said that there was no need to send the matter to Interior Ministry when the cabinet had approved the bill. Shireen Mizari took the stance that only the law ministry could give a reply on this matter. The bench served notice to Ministry of Law and Justice seeking comments in this regard. The chief justice directed the Law Ministry to apprise the court that why the bill was not tabled in National Assembly for far.

The court observed that it would decide the case on next hearing. Earlier, the counsel for Ministry of Education said that the government had imposed a ban on corporal punishment on children in educational institutions of federal capital in compliance of court orders dated February 10. He prayed the court to grant more time to evolve a comprehensive strategy in this regard. The petitioner adopted the stance that how guardians of the children could allow corporal punishment on kids with good intention . He prayed the court to turn down the section 89 which permit the punishment. He informed the court that the Sindh government had already introduced legislation to check corporal punishment.