Need of the hour | Ministry proposes making ‘stalking women’ a criminal offense

Law Ministry proposes making 'stalking' women an offense.

The law ministry has proposed the insertion of Section 354B in the Pakistan Penal Code. Under this section, ‘female stalking’ is an offense with penality.

The law ministry is led by Dr. Farogh Naseem. It has put the Criminal Law Reforms draft in the federal cabinet.

According to section 354B, the word ‘stalk’ or ‘stalking’ refers to a man who follows or tries to contact a woman constantly despite clear disinterest. ‘Monitors the use by a woman of the internet, email or any form of electronic communication, commits the offense of stalking,’ as stated in the section.

Under the proposed section, an officer should issue a notice to the man if a woman complains that she is being stalked. The notice should be issued if the officer finds the man’s explanation unsatisfactory. Moreover, the man should be ‘warned’ to stay away from the complainant.

If the man doesn’t comply with the order of caution, he will be guilty of the offense. The person will be punished with 3 months in jail and a fine of Rs100,000.

It is mentioned that if the man still continues to stalk, he will serve a sentence of one year. An amount of Rs500,000 will also be fined.

Other than this, the proposed section has made some exceptions. According to it, a man who pursues a woman to detect crime would not amount to stalking. Further, the section also excludes a man who has been entrusted with the responsibility of preventing crime by the state.

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