NA panel comes down hard on law ministry

Asks it to amend Protection of Parents Bill 2021 in light of committee recommendations

NA panel comes down hard on law ministry
NA panel comes down hard on law ministry


The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Wednesday came down hard on officials of the Federal Ministry of Law for not taking into account the recommendations made by the committee and for “exhibiting a negative mentality”.

“We want to strengthen the ministry but you people should give due weightage to the recommendations of the committee,” the committee chairman, Riaz Fatyana, said.

“We made recommendations to the ministry multiple times but it never took them into account. The ministry underestimates the powers of the committee. We know how to exercise them,” he added.

Earlier, the secretary law briefed the committee on the proposed bill that aims at providing protection to parents against mistreatment by their children. The secretary said several cases have been registered in which children forced their parents to leave their homes.

He said under the proposed law "Protection of Parents Bill 2021” the commission of such acts is liable to one-year jail term and fine. Even both can be awarded to those found guilty.

He said where a child, his spouse or offspring evicts or expels a parent from a home, whether owned or rented by the child or in their possession by any other means, they shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with fine or with both.

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However, parents would have the right to evict a child or their spouse from the home owned by them.

However, if a child or the spouse fails to vacate the home upon the expiry of seven days of service of a written notice of eviction from the parents, they shall be guilty of offence punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may be extended for one month or fine extended to Rs50,000 or both.

Prior to this, a written notice must be served to the child or the spouse. The bill gives authority to district deputy commissioners (DCs) to proceed in accordance with law in case if the notice is not complied with.

If the deputy commissioner is satisfied that parents are the owners of the home in view of official record, irrespective of the child’s defence that the house was constructed or purchased on their fund, the child may be ordered to vacate the property.

Police, under the ordinance, could make arrests without warrants in these cases and present the arrested ones before a magistrate. Under the ordinance, both parents and their children have been given the right to appeal within 30 days, the secretary told the panel.

Taking exception to some of the provisions, a member of the committee PPP’s Qadir Mandokhel said the power to award sentences should be given to a judge rather than a deputy commissioner.

The secretary said if the powers are delegated to a judge, the parents will have to bear the fees of lawyers.

JUI-F’s Aliya Kamran said the cases of parents eviction are rare and such cases should be dealt with at the level of families and neighborhoods. PPP’s Naveed Qamar opposed the provision to evict children from the house.

Riaz Fatyana, who belongs to the ruling PTI, said involving police and courts in domestic affairs will fan hatred in society.

He asked the ministry to include the roles of punchait and Jirga systems in the bill and resubmit it before with new recommendations.