Laws inadequate to aptly try the culprits of the Kasur child pornography case

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Pakistani courts

ISLAMABAD: Constitution of Pakistan harbours inadequate laws to punish the culprits of Kasur child porn case.

According to a prominent Pakistani lawyer Azhar Siddique, while talking with The News said that there are insufficient and weak laws that deal with the child sexual abuse. However, ordinary laws are applied in cases when children are victimised of sexual abuse.

Azhar Siddique said, “The existing Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children Act 2004 is too weak, insufficient to cope with such crimes.” However, he claimed that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Child Protection and Welfare Act 2010 was comparatively better to the Punjab law.

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He stated that, “the KP act also covers the child pornography and sexual harassment. Both the laws and the similar statutes existing in other provinces don’t provide for stringent punishment.” “That’s why,” he added saying, “The ordinary law, the Pakistan Penal Code PPC is applied in the cases that also involve children.”

He added, “Now when the nation has been shattered and rocked by the Kasur scandal, special laws should be formulated to award exemplary punishment to such perpetrators.”

By reason of unsatisfactory punishment prescribed by the present law, the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 is oftentimes cited as has been done, in the Kasur child porn case.

While, under the present law now applicable to this despicable case; Section 40 of the Punjab act says,”Whoever secures custody of a child ostensibly for any purpose but exposes such a child to the risk of seduction, sodomy, prostitution or other immoral conditions, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to Rs50,000 or with both.”

Azhar Siddique added that specific laws and special agencies are required to scrutinize the child sexual abuse cases. He concluded that the Police however, are incompetent and ill-equipped to appropriately probe the child porn cases.