President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi promulgated the Anti-rape Ordinance 2020 on Tuesday, to expedite trials in cases of sexual violence against women and children.
Under the new ordinance, special courts will be established to ensure that the trial of rape cases is concluded within four months.
In a series of tweets, the President said that the Prime Minister will supervise the establishment of anti-rape crisis cells that will be authorized to conduct medico-legal examinations within six hours of an assault.
Additionally, a sex offenders’ registry will now be maintained at the national level with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority NADRA) while protecting the identity of the victims.
Although Dr. Alvi has not disclosed the punishment for a rapist, the Cabinet Committee for the Disposal of Legislative Cases had previously approved two ordinances for harsher punishments including chemical castration for rapists.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Law stated that the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Ordinance 2020 and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 had introduced chemical castration primarily as a “form of rehabilitation”.
It read: “The two state of the art pieces of legislation is in line with the Constitutional guarantees of Pakistan, as also the International treaties”.