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Law Minister directs provinces to identify public hospitals for Anti-Rape Crisis Cells

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem has directed the provinces in identifying public hospitals in each district of the Country for the establishment of Anti-Rape Crisis Cells.

Barrister Dr. Farogh Naseem chaired a meeting of the Law Ministry Officials, Chief Secretaries, Home Department Officials and representatives of the Police from each province on Thursday to discuss the implementation of the Anti-Rape legislation throughout the country.

The law minister said the establishment of Anti-Rape Crisis Cells and Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) was key to effective implementation of the law and negligence in expeditious execution of directions in this regard will result in dire consequences.

The minister said that provincial representatives must convey the names of their focal persons, public hospitals for the establishment of Anti-Rape Crisis Cells as well as the officials (Commissioners or Deputy Commissioners) who would head those cells in various districts of the country, by early next week.

Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem said that these Cells will play an important role in the medico-legal examination of the victims and gathering important evidence in the very early stages.

The law minister said that a Joint Investigation team would be headed by a District Police Officer and will comprise a Superintendent (SP) of the police, a Deputy Superintendent DSP, Station House Officer SHO and at least one female officer of the police in each district.

The federal minister for law and justice said the data from all the provinces, on rape and sexual offences would also be required for effective implementation of the Anti-Rape Laws.

The Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat informed Barrister Farogh Naseem that District Headquarter Hospitals (DHQs) will soon be notified as anti-rape crisis cells throughout Punjab.

Raja Basharat assured the federal minister of swift implementation of the Law in the province.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Barrister Maleeka Bokhari, who is heading the Anti-Rape Special Committee, informed the participants she intends to visit each province personally, next week to help in the implementation of the laws

Maleeka Bokhari said the rape cases that happened recently or are in courts at the moment must be dealt with in accordance with the Law. She said the provinces must start work on the implementation of the new Law right away.

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