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Indepth Explanation of Laws and Punishment against Domestic Violence in PakistanBest Lawyer against Domestic Violence in Pakistan for Overseas Pakistanis

Domestic Violence in Pakistan

Domestic violence in Pakistan against women is a serious concern that affects many lives of the women. Domestic violence generally includes any form of abuse or violence that occurs within or outside the home. This includes violence through physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuses. Women may face several complexities in seeking help, due to fear, social pressure, and lack of awareness about their rights and support provided by the State.

Laws for protection of women, with respect to provincial enactment as mentioned below, have been enacted to solve such sort of concerns. These laws are framed to protect women and give them access to legal remedies. It is important to mention here that “domestic violence” is targeting the weakest lives of society i.e women and infirm old (parents), has been increasing abnormally.

Domestic Violence Laws in Pakistan

In Pakistan, every province has its own provincial laws to address domestic violence against women. These laws are promulgated to provide legal protection and support for women who are victims of domestic violence. Each province has its own legislation to address the specific needs and challenges faced by women in their respective regions. Following is a list of provincial laws against domestic violence in Pakistan.

Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT):

  • The Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Act, 2020
  • National Commission on the Status of Women Act, 2012
  • Protection Against Harassment of Women At Workplace Act 2010
  • ICT Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2021

Punjab:

  • Punjab Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, 2012
  • Punjab Commission on the Status of Women Act, 2014
  • The Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act, 2016
  • Punjab Women Protection Authority Act, 2017

Sindh:

  • Sindh Commission on the Status of Women Act, 2016
  • Sindh Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2013

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:

  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Domestic Violence Against Women Act, 2021
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Commission on the Status of Women Act, 2016
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Enforcement of Women Ownership Act, 2012

Balochistan:

  • The Balochistan Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2014
  • Balochistan Harassment of Women at Work place Act, 2014

The common provisions and concerns of these laws are following;

  • These laws clearly elaborate domestic violence and cover several types of violence, including physical, emotional, sexual, and economic abuse.
  • These laws provide mechanism for protection, which can include protection orders, restraining orders, and monetary relief orders etc. to ensure the safety and protection of the women.
  • Such laws highlight the provision of support services to victims, such as shelter homes, medical services, counseling, and legal aid etc.

These laws establish mechanisms for reporting incidents of domestic violence, including helplines, police stations, and designated protection officers who can help victims in filing complaints and seeking legal remedies.

Punishment of Domestic Violation in Pakistan

The act of domestic violence [if the offense committed does not fall under the Pakistan Penal Code] shall be punishable with imprisonment of maximum three years and minimum six months, depending on the gravity of the crime committed.

According to the law, if an offence falling under the PPC is committed in a domestic relationship, the crime shall be punishable as under the PPC.

A fine ranging from Rs20,000 to Rs100,000 would also be imposed on the perpetrator of domestic violence, that would be paid as compensation to the aggrieved person.

In case of default in payment of fine, the perpetrator may be awarded three months imprisonment. The Act also envisages the creation of a Protection Committee to assist the aggrieved person and process his/her application in court.

Is domestic violence a crime in Pakistan?

Yes, domestic violence is considered a crime in Pakistan. The Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act 2021, as well as other laws, have been enacted to provide legal protection to women against domestic violence. These laws aim to prevent, prohibit, and punish acts of violence within the domestic sphere.

Causes of Domestic Violence in Pakistan

Domestic violence in Pakistan can have various causes or reasons but each situation is unique. Some common reasons for domestic violence include the following factors:

Gender Inequality: Deep-rooted gender inequality and patriarchal norms can contribute to the perpetuation of violence against women.

Cultural Norms and Expectations: Traditional cultural, customs and beliefs may be the reasons due to which abusive behaviors are spreading.

Lack of Education and Awareness: Limited access to education and awareness about women’s rights and available support services can restrict efforts to address domestic violence.

Socioeconomic Factors: Economic stress, poverty, and unemployment can create tensions within relationships and contribute to instances of violence.

Lack of Legal Protection: Insufficient implementation and enforcement of laws, as well as flaws in the legal system, can make it difficult for victims to seek justice and protection.

Domestic Violence in Islamic Perspective

Despite changing and developing the status of a woman from daughter to wife and wife to mother, she has been assured of her maintenance by the men regardless of his status as father; brother; husband or son being capable of earning.

This has been the reason that every touch-stone of measuring “respect” of a man has not been attached to his poverty or wealth but as stated by the Holy Prophet PBUH that:

“Among you the most respectable is the one who respects women and the most disrespectful is the one who disrespects the women”

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has also said;

“It is the generous (in character) who is good to women and it is the wicked who insults them”.

One must remember that when a woman agrees to part with her status as daughter so as to step into status as wife, she relieves her father/brother from her maintenance/care, which duty is presumed to have been taken by the man being husband, once he accepts her in her Nikah.

Such an agreement not only requires the husband to maintain her but to give due respect to the wife. Respect shall always include the dignity of woman and if she is compelled to step out on ‘road’ certainly certain privileges, which she in all circumstances enjoys, shall stand prejudiced.

It is also divinely instructed in Al-Qur’an that:-

“And live with them honourably” (Al-Nisaa 4:19)

It may well be added that driving a woman out of the house would certainly expose her to “Namahrams” who otherwise are not permitted to come in contact with a “woman”.

If a man does not legally part with his status as husband, he legally is believed to continue discharging all his obligations which he owned at the time of Nikah/marriage.

The term “maintenance” would never find its true meaning by throwing some money at her or expecting her parents to take care of her but it shall always include all which are necessary to complete the term “life”.

However, this shall never give any undue advantage to woman because such obligation is well balanced:

“Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him” (al-Talaaq 65:7)

The accommodation is a necessary part of the maintenance, hence if a man for any reason wants a temporary separation, he is not expected to deprive her of any right which does include accommodation.

It may be added that divine advice for a ‘man’ (husband) even while divorcing his wife is:

“Lodge them (divorced women) where you dwell, according to your means” (al-Talaaq 65:6)

However, it is an irony that we experience such incidents on a regular basis which the man dares to do while wrongly interpreting certain privileges, given to man only.

Keeping above in view, it must be added that since the “state” has been given the ultimate status of “guardian” therefore, if there is any such infringements then it is the state which should be available thereby ensuring temporary arrangement couple with a complete mechanism.

No law allows one to become victim of cruelty merely for the reason of his/her being a women, child, old aged and infirm rather directs all relations such as husband, and son of an old aged and infirm parent to show love at such time of their life by ensuring all privileges of life to them.

This has always been the divine direction in all religion and expectation from every civilized culture and society.

It is enacted to provide protection to the weakest class of society i.e ‘women and children” as, normally, we are carrying a presumption of living a “male dominant society” where aggrieved even does not dare to tell about “domestic violence” because of threats of being abandoned or dispossessed/removed from household.

One of the aims of the law is also to ensure immediate interim relief to an aggrieved from being dispossessed/removed from household but also:

  • Compensation to the aggrieved person for suffering as a consequence of economic abuse to be determined by the court;
  • Loss of earning;
  • Medical expense;
  • The loss caused due to the destruction, damage or removal of any property from the control of the aggrieved person; and
  • The maintenance for the aggrieved person as well her children, if any, including an order under or in addition to an order of maintenance under family laws.
  • Couple with direction to pay monetary relief to the person aggrieved within the period specified, as directed in accordance with law.

Accordingly, a sail even cursory to the relevant Articles of Constitution of Pakistan delivers that:

  1. i) Articles 26 and 27 provide for equal access to public places and equality of employment in the public and private sector;
    ii) Articles 11 and 37 (g) prohibit trafficking in human beings as well as prostitution;
  2. Article 32 makes special provisions for the representation of women in local Government;
  3. Article 34 directs the state to take appropriate measures to enable women to participate in all spheres of life and social activities;
  4. Article 35 asks the state to protect the marriage, the family, the mother and the child;
  5. Article 37(e) directs the state to make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work ensuring that children and women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age or sex, and for ensuring maternity benefits for women in employment;
  6. Articles 51 and 106 provide for the reservation of seats for women in the legislatures.

The continuity of the poor status of women in our society reflects complete negation of legislation with regard to women laws, aimed at achieving the desired ‘object’.

The scope of Women in Distress and Detention Fund Act, 1996 was aimed to ‘rehabilitate’ by providing legal assistance, jobs and shelter even to those women who are:

  1. i) under trial, convicted or detained in Dar-ul-Aman; ii) disabled; iii) suffering from serious ailments, including mental ailment; iv) victims of burn cases;
  2. v) distress women and their minor children, if they are in need of shelter; vi) seriously maltreated by their husband(s);

Our claim of being civilized society; dictates of pro-women laws and even decrees of Shariah should have eliminated all said evils and there should have remained no single custom or usage degrading/lowering the women or depriving their guaranteed rights to have a fair trial against any charge (allegation) but details as given above reflects different scenario that:

  1. i) holding JIRGAs; ii) illegal decree(s) in such JIRGAs; iii) rape(s) of women in name of compensation; iv) awarding women, even minor ones, as budl-e-sulh;
  2. v) throwing/sprinkling of acid etc. on faces of women even at public places;

is routine practice particularly in the backward area of certain regions, therefore judicial propriety demands to examine this issue seriously with a view to ensure strict application of law and to curb these illegal activities.

Most of the offences against women are the result of so- called custom or usage which allow holding of ‘JIRGAs’ or illegal and inhuman decisions taken in the name of ‘Ghairat’ etc.

The women are considered as true and complete owners of their respective property which they either receive as a result of inheritance or as dower, dowry or gift.

The woman does find her entitlement in law of inheritance and Islam does not recognize any excuse to exclude the woman from her such right. The Holy Quran dictates that:

“Unto men (of the family) belongs a share of that which Parents and near kindred leave, and unto women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be a little or much – a determinate share.” [Al-Qur’an 4.7].

The men have no right to part a woman from her own belonging or property and even the Constitution guarantees such protection as is evident from:

Article 2(a): no action, detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person, shall be taken except ‘in accordance with law’;

Article 14 of Constitution of Pakistan ensures ‘dignity’ and ‘privacy of a home’ as inviolable. Suffice to say that though the word ‘man’ is used in this Article yet the protection thereof cannot be confined to the ‘man’ because ‘dignity’ is also inviolable for women.

It may be noted here that every ‘society/community’ may have its own rituals; traditions and other customs to lead the life but that should not in any way be in conflict with dictates of laws of the land.

The society shall have to honour the laws of land so as to let the sense of “good governance” prevails as is demand of Article-5 of Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, which reads as: Article 5. Loyalty to the State and obedience to Constitution and law.-

  • Loyalty to the State is the basic duty of every citizen.
  • Obedience to the Constitution and law is the (inviolable) obligation of every citizen, wherever he may be and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan.

The above context also demands a reference to Article-8 of the Constitution which reads as:-

Article 8. Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of Fundamental rights to be void.–

  • Any LAW, or any CUSTOM or USAGE having the force of law, (in so far as it is inconsistent with the rights conferred by the Chapter), shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be “VOID’.
  • The STATE shall not make any Law, which takes away, or abridges the rights so conferred, and any law made in contravention of this clause, shall, (to the extent of such contravention), be “VOID”.

‘DARUL-AMAN’ were notified in certain divisions by the Government of Pakistan which was issued with an object:

  1. To provide women with temporary refuge and safe heaven against violence, abuse and exploitation;
  2. To facilitate women’s access to justice;
  3. To ensure provision of protection and services to the women in a manner that recognizes and respects their right to security, liberty and dignity;
  4. To assist women in provision of relief and redressal against violence or threat of violence;
  5. To make available rehabilitation programs for psychological, social and economic recovery and empowerment;
  6. To prevent isolation of women in distress and to enable them to maintain social contacts and engagement;
  7. To support women through the process of reconciliation of negotiating conditions for rehabilitation within the family, and to impart confidence in them by dispelling their sense of isolation;
  8. To assist women in resettlement after crises and to establish alternative social support systems where necessary;
  9. To protect women against exploitation resulting from compromises imposed on them by taking advantage of their desperation and a feeling that no alternatives are available to them;
  10. To provide women a peaceful environment in which they can make decisions about their future and determine the appropriate course of action to secure their interests;

There can be no concept of safety and rehabilitation unless all related departments are in coordination with each other.

The ‘Dar-ul-Aman’ guidelines specifically speak of the active role of the ‘Social Welfare Department’, District Administration, District Police and NGOs.

Since it is the responsibility of the State to provide ‘security’ at the gross root level hence the establishment of ‘Dar-ul-Aman’ was to be established at each District.

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What is The Case Lawyer?

The Case Lawyer is a full-service law firm that is being driven by the expert lawyers of multiple domains such as Family & Personal Laws, Property & Revenue Laws, Financial Law, Corporate and Tax Laws, Information Technology Laws, International Laws, Offshore Business Laws, and obviously Immigration Laws of different countries.

The Case Lawyer is popular among the overseas community due to its transparent mechanism as well as cost-efficiency. Firm’s majority clients are non-resident Pakistanis which are satisfy with the legal services provided by the firm and definitely dispute resolution for overseas Pakistanis.

  • Customized Support
  • Virtual Legal Support
  • Easy Access
  • Transparency
  • Communication
  • Fee Structure

Our Customized Support for Expatriates

We have customized legal and litigation support for overseas Pakistanis as no other law firm in Pakistan is able to offer customized legal support. We have break down the entire process as follows;

  1. Initial Legal Consultancy
  2. Case Analysis
  3. Plan of Action & Invoice
  4. Preparation and Filing of Lawsuit
  5. Representation and Submission of Evidence
  6. Results

Convenience of Our Virtual Legal Support

We are virtually available 24/7 for your live legal support where you can discuss your concerns with our expert lawyers of multiple domains. You need to call on our business number and confirm appointment which is free of cost for initial consultation for 15 minutes but due to shortage of time and number of queries you need to pay 5000/- for subsequent consultation for next 30 minutes discussion with our lawyer.

Accessing Legal Services from Abroad

We are serving our expatriates Pakistanis who are residing everywhere in the world from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Europe, United States, Canada, KSA, UAE, Qatar, Turkey, and other countries. We have redressed the grievance of hundreds of overseas clients who are satisfied with our extra-ordinary services and prompt responses.

Transparency in Legal Services

Transparency in legal services for overseas Pakistanis is core concern which also is our main consideration. As most of the overseas Pakistani while residing abroad do not know what proceedings are being conducted in the court by their lawyers in Pakistan and this causes lack of trust and mis-information. We keep our overseas clients up to date regarding their case and clients are being informed through electronic mail and WhatsApp. We also share with them court orders which able them to understand what proceedings are being conducted by our lawyers.

Honest Communication with Overseas Clients

We prefer reputation over money and this aspect makes us well reputed organization. Our communication with the clients is privileged in accordance with the legal ethics so we you must believe that we provide you an honest solution and our conversation with you is protected.

Transparent Fee Structure for Legal Services

We prepare invoice after case analysis which clearly reflects documentation & filing expenses including court fee, lawyer’s professional fee, clerical expenses and other miscellaneous expenses which may incur time to time. This mechanism eliminates hidden cost which protects our client’s monetary concerns.

Furthermore, for convenience of Pakistani Expats we also have an option of installment plans but this varies upon case to case.

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