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Prime Minister Imran Khan launches Criminal Law and Justice Reforms

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday launched the much-needed Criminal Law and Justice Reforms paving the way for ensuring effective and timely delivery of justice to the common man.

In his address at the Launching Ceremony in Islamabad, the prime minister termed it a defining moment in the history of Pakistan, saying it is the first time that reforms have been introduced in the Criminal Law and Justice System.

The prime minister said that it is a major step towards ensuring rule of law which will provide justice to the common man and bring the powerful people under the ambit of the law. He said that responsibility now rests with the judiciary and the lawyers to implement these reforms.

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The prime minister was appreciative of the fact that technology will now be used in the judicial system, which he said, will benefit the common man. He regretted that the old rotten system only suited and benefited the powerful people.

Furthermore, he emphasized that rule of law is a prerequisite to the progress and development of any Country.  He said that the State of Madina became the greatest one in the world because it followed the principles of humanity and rule of law.

Imran Khan pointed out that nine million Overseas Pakistanis are a precious asset for the Country but they refrain from investing in the Country because they do not have confidence in the justice system. He was confident that the day the Overseas Pakistanis started investing in Pakistan, it will not require to seek loans or assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or friendly Countries.

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Narrating the key points of reforms, the Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr. Farogh Naseem said that 700 amendments have been introduced which have completely overhauled the Criminal Law and Justice System.

The law minister said that the Criminal Cases will be decided in nine months and if it does not happen, the trial judge will have to furnish an explanation. He said that disciplinary proceedings will also be initiated if the explanation is not found to be acceptable.

Farogh Naseem said that under the Criminal Law and Justice Reforms, the police budget will trickle down to Police Stations, and in case it does not happen, the audit will be carried out to take the necessary action.

The minister said that only a Sub Inspector will be made SHO in Police Stations whose preferable education will be BA.

In addition, he said that the reforms emphasize the use of forensics and electronically recording the evidence. He said that any video whose authenticity can be confirmed will be admissible as an evidence.

Barrister Farogh Naseem said that the attendance and protection of witnesses have been ensured in the reforms.

Farogh Naseem said that the amendments also envisage an independent prosecution service in order to ensure transparency in conviction, which he said, will also help do away with fake cases.

The law minister said that the Courts have also been authorized to freeze different cards of absconders including passports. He said that the reforms also envisage a whole concept of the plea bargain.

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