IHC bans corporal punishment in schools
Islamabad High Court CJ directs Interior Ministry to safeguard rights of children
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday suspended till further notice a section of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) that allows for the use of corporal punishment by parents, guardians and teachers “in good faith for the benefit”.
A petition in the IHC, submitted by singer-turned-rights activist Shehzad Roy, called for a ban on the use of violence as a means to discipline children in school. In his petition, Roy argued that Section 89 of the PPC allows for use of violence and force against children. “Last year, a child passed away because of the use of corporal punishment in a school in Lahore,” Roy’s lawyer told the court while adding that the matter of abolishing the use of corporal punishment was of public interest. Lawyer, while explaining the reason for Roy’s interest in matter, said that the singer-turned-activist has established an organisation for educational reforms.
“The parliament also passed some bill on the matter as well,” IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who was hearing the case, recalled. “We want that the use of corporal punishment is banned while the parliament goes about making laws on the matter,” the lawyer responded while adding that corporal punishment has extremely adverse effects on children’s mental and physical health. Hearing this, Justice Minallah suspended section 89 of the Pakistan Penal Code which says: “Nothing which is done in good faith for the benefit of a person under twelve years of age […] by or by consent of the guardian or other person having lawful charge of that person, is an offense by reason of any harm which it may cause.”