Law ministry

NA panel hits hard on Department of Justice

ISLAMABAD:

On Wednesday, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice harshly criticized federal justice officials for failing to take into account the recommendations made by the committee and for “showing a mentality negative”.

“We want to strengthen the ministry, but you have to give due importance to the committee’s recommendations,” committee chairman Riaz Fatyana said.

“We made recommendations to the ministry on several occasions, but it never took them into account. The department underestimates the powers of the committee. We know how to exercise them,” he added.

Earlier, the law secretary briefed the committee on the proposed bill which seeks to protect parents from abuse by their children. The secretary said that several cases have been recorded in which children have forced their parents to leave their homes.

He said that under the Protection of Parents Bill 2021, the commission of such acts is punishable by imprisonment for one year and a fine. Even both can be awarded to those found guilty.

He said that where a child, spouse or offspring evicts or evicts a parent from a home, whether owned or rented by the child or in their possession by any other means, they will be punished with a rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with fine or with both.

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However, parents would have the right to evict a child or their spouse from the home they own.

However, if the child or spouse fails to vacate the dwelling upon the expiry of a period of seven days from the service of a written notice of eviction from the parents, they will be guilty of an offense punishable a simple prison sentence which can be extended for one year. months or fine extended to Rs50,000 or both.

Prior written notice must be served on the child or spouse. The bill empowers Deputy District Commissioners (DCs) to proceed according to law in the event of failure to comply with the notice.

If the Deputy Commissioner is satisfied that the parents are the owners of the house based on the official record, regardless of the child’s defense that the house was built or purchased with their funds, the child may be sentenced to leave the property.

The police, under the ordinance, could make warrantless arrests in such cases and bring those arrested before a magistrate. Under the order, parents and their children have the right to appeal within 30 days, the secretary told the panel.

Making an exception to certain provisions, a member of the PPP committee, Qadir Mandokhel, said that the power to impose sentences should be entrusted to a judge rather than an assistant commissioner.

The secretary said that if the powers are delegated to a judge, the parents will have to bear the lawyers’ fees.

JUI-F’s Aliya Kamran said cases of eviction of parents are rare and such cases should be handled at the family and neighborhood level. Naveed Qamar of the PPP opposed the provision to evict the children from the house.

Riaz Fatyana, who belongs to the ruling PTI, said the involvement of the police and courts in internal affairs would stir up hatred in society.

He asked the ministry to include the roles of the punchait and Jirga systems in the bill and to resubmit it before with new recommendations.