ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday passed three bills; against corporal punishment of children, curbing charging of interest by private loan sharks and money lenders, and establishment of universities in both public and private sectors.
The House on private members’ day passed, “The Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill, 2020”, “The Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Interest on Private Loans, 2020”, and “The Al-Karam International Institute Bill, 2020”.
Mehnaz Akbar Aziz tabled, “The Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill, 2020” in the house for passage. The House smoothly passed the bill without any objection from the opposition members.
According to the clause 3 of The Islamabad Capital Territory Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill, 2020: “(1) The child has the right to be shown respect for his personality and individuality and shall not be made subject to corporal punishment or any other humiliating or degrading treatment.”
“(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 89 of the Pakistan Penal code, 1860 and any other law and regulation for the time being in force, corporal punishment of children by any person is prohibited in all its forms, at work place. in schools and other educational institutions including formal, non-formal, and religious, both public and private, in child care institutions including foster care, rehabilitation centers and any other alternative care settings, both public and private and in the Juvenile Justice System,” the clause further states.
“(3) Disciplinary measures concerning the child can only be taken in accordance with the child’s dignity, and under no circumstances corporal punishments, or punishments which relate to the child’s physical and mental development or which may affect the child’s emotional status are allowed,” it states.
About the violation of the law, the bill describes penalties: Minor Penalties: (i) censure, (ii) withholding, for a specific period, promotion or increment, otherwise than for unfitness for promotion or financial advancement in accordance with rules or orders pertaining to the service or post, (iii) stoppage from promotion, for a specific period, at an efficiency bar in the time-scale, otherwise than for unfitness to cross such bar: and (iv) recovery from pay of the whole or any part of any pecuniary loss caused to government by negligence or breach of orders.
Major Penalties: (i) demotion to a lower post or lime-scale, or to a lower stage in a time scale; (ii) compulsory retirement; (iii) removal from service; and (iv) dismissal from service.
Regarding the dismissal from service, the bill states, “(3) Removal from service does not, but dismissal from service does, disqualify for future employment.”
“The Islamabad, Capital Territory Prohibition of Interest on Private Loans Bill, 2020” was presented by Muhammad Sanaullah Masti Khel for passage. This bill was also passed by the house smoothly.
According to the statement of objects and reason of “The Islamabad, Capital Territory Prohibition of Interest on Private Loans Bill, 2020”: “it is desirable to curb the menace created by private loan sharks and money lenders who are charging interest and then molest the borrowers for recovery.”
Syed Javed Husnain of the PML-N presented, “The Al-Karam International Institute Bill, 2020” in the house for passage. The house passed the said bill without any opposition from the treasury members.
According to the objective and reason of the bill, “We need to have more Universities in both public and private sectors. Al Karam International Institute Bhera plans to follow the education policy as enunciated in vision 2025 through an increase in literacy rate.”
Earlier, as many as eight private members’ bills were referred to the relevant Standing Committees of the House which include, the Safe Milk and Dairy Bill, 2021, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the Islamabad Poultry Production Regulation Bill, 2021, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Insertion of Article11A), the Islamabad Bee-Keeping and Honey Board Bill, 2021, the Compulsory Teaching of Arabic Language Bill, 2021, and the Unani, Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic Practitioners (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The National Assembly witnessed chaos once again as members from both sides of the aisle chanted slogans against each others leadership by holding placards, forcing the chair to adjourn the house for a brief period to maintain the order.
Meanwhile, the session of the House started with NA Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair with a warning to treasury members not to behave like opposition after they chanted slogans against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership in Sindh by holding placards to lodge their protest against the arrest of Sindh Assembly opposition leader Haleem Adil Sheikh.
The opposition lawmakers retaliated too with placards inscribed with slogans “selected regime not acceptable”, “sugar and flour thieves”, etc, and the slogan chanting from both sides turned the House into a fish market.
This prompted NA speaker to suspend the proceedings of the House for a brief period to persuade members from both sides not to disrupt the proceedings of the House.
The speaker succeeded in convincing members belonging to both the opposition and the treasury during a meeting at his chamber, and the proceedings resumed with Deputy Speaker Qasim Soori in the chair.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021