Section 89 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) was suspended by Islamabad High Court (IHC) and corporal punishment by parents, guardians, and teachers for children under the age of 12 has been banned.
The singer and philanthropist Shehzad Roy filed a petition in the court for the prohibition of the use of violence to discipline children. Hearing this petition the division bench of IHC presided by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, suspended the PPC section until further notice.
Section 89 allows parents, guardians, and teachers to use corporal punishment in “good faith”. Shehzad Roy in his petition said that Section 89 is contradictory to the Constitution as it violates the basic human rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
He said that punishing children in educational institutions has become a norm now.
The petition stated, “Punishing children is being considered as essential for improving learning. News of torture and punishment of children has been reported every day in the media.”
Roy said that there needs to be a complete implementation of child protection laws and he prayed to the court to direct the government to protect minors from physical and mental torture.
Now during the hearing, Justice Minallah said that Pakistan’s parliament has adopted a bill prohibiting corporal punishment for children back in 2013. But due to a technicality, the bill was not passed.
Roy’s counsel said that his client wants the high court to make sure that torture against children is prevented until the legislation is passed.
He stressed, “Corporal punishment affects a child’s mental and physical health.”