ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High

Court (IHC) on Thursday

asked the federal government to take appropriate measures to present the bill pertaining to

corporal punishment in

schools in the National

Assembly.

A single bench of IHC

comprising Chief Justice

of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the petition filed

by singer and rights activist Shehzad Roy who

sought for a ban on use

of violence as a means

to discipline children in

school.

Federal Minister for

Human Rights Shireen

Mazari also present

during the hearing. She

stated that a bill regarding prohibition of corporal punishment was approved by the Federal

Cabinet.

She has further stated

that the Ministry of Interior has referred the

bill to the Islamic Ideology Council. The Council

has submitted its opinion

wherein some objections

have been raised.

The bench added that

perusal of the opinion of

the council shows that it

is general in nature. However, the opinion is not

binding and there is no

bar for the federal government to place the bill

before the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).

“The federal government is therefore, at liberty to take appropriate

measures for placing the

bill before the Parliament

along with the opinion

received from the council for its consideration.

It is for the Parliament to

consider the bill, which

essentially relates to a

matter of immense public importance,” read the

order.

Justice Athar also noted, “Keeping in view the

incidents reported from

across the country regarding abuse of children

it has become inevitable

for placing the bill before

the Parliament.

After issuing the aforementioned directions,

the IHC bench deferred

hearing in this matter till

March 30 for final arguments.

During the court proceedings, Shireen Mazari

apprised the court that

the bill had been approved by the cabinet.

However, the law ministry said it is the jurisdiction of the interior ministry. She added

that Prime Minister Imran Khan also ordered a

complete ban on corporal punishment.

Mazari further stated

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that the Council had opposed the ban on corporal punishment and said

the court should term

torture of children and

corporal punishment as

a contradiction of fundamental rights.

The IHC Chief Justice

said there is no need to

annul Article 89 of the

Pakistan Penal Code and

inflicting corporal punishments on children is a

violation of Article 14 of

the Constitution.

Roy maintained that

the Article 89 of the PPC

is misused, as people

who use corporal punishment say they are hitting

the children with good

intentions and requested the court to annul the

legislation.

Justice Athar said that

Article 14 of the Constitution ensures the safety

of children and children

cannot be physically hurt

even in the absence of the

law.

An official of the education department said

that as per the court directives, corporal punishment on children was

completely banned in Islamabad from February

10.

The IHC CJ remarked

that a good teacher never served corporal punishment to the children.

The political leadership

and the parliament have

to change the mindset of

the society.