Summary finalised for special courts to conclude rape cases in 120 days

Published May 4, 2021
The law ministry has finalised a summary for establishment of special courts that would conclude the trial of accused in rape cases in 120 days. — AP/File
The law ministry has finalised a summary for establishment of special courts that would conclude the trial of accused in rape cases in 120 days. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The law ministry has finalised a summary for establishment of special courts that would conclude the trial of accused in rape cases in 120 days.

The ministry has proposed that the courts of district and sessions judges will be designated as special courts for speedy trial of accused persons.

According to a law ministry spokesperson, the summary will be forwarded to the president and after his approval a notification will be issued which will be published in the official gazette.

Establishment of special court to conduct trial of heinous offence of rape is provided in the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Ordinance, 2020.

Sessions courts have been proposed for conducting speedy trial

The ordinance was promulgated in December last year. Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet approved the legal measure in November 2020.

The summary has referred to Section 3 of the ordinance according to which “the President, in consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, shall establish as many Special Courts throughout the country, as he may deem necessary, to try the scheduled offences…The President, in consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, shall appoint any person as a Judge of the Special Court, who is or has been a Sessions Judge or Additional Sessions Judge, or has been an advocate of the High Court for a period of not less than ten years, and is not more than seventy years of age at the time of appointment”.

Moreover, “the President may, in consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, designate, throughout the country, as many Courts of Sessions Judges or Additional Sessions Judges as Special Courts, as he may deem fit”.

The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan had last week circulated the information to the four high courts as well as the Islamabad High Court.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2021

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