Senate approves Zainab Alert Bill 2020
The Senate on Wednesday with overwhelming majority approved ‘The Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Bill, 2020’.
All senators except Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami voted against the bill. Now the bill has been sent to President Arif Alvi for the formal approval after that it will be enforced throughout the country
The National Assembly has already passed the bill.
Key Points of the Bill:
Special courts would be established to decide cases relating to missing children in three months.
Station house officers (SHOs) would be bound to register first information reports (FIRs) immediately after receiving the complaint and could face imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of up to one lakh if they fail to do their job on time.
The bill is named after nine-year-old Zainab Ansari who was murdered after rape in Kasur in 2018 that shocked the entire country. The bill also suggests of establishing an authority to deal with cases of kidnapping and rape of children.
A Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Agency (ZARRA) will be set up and prime minister will appoint the agency’s DG that will be tasked to maintain a database of missing and abducted children, and work closely with the helpline, 1099.
ZARRA will also issue monthly public reports and updates on its website about missing children. It will also make a mobile application.
The maximum sentence to a culprit will be life imprisonment and the minimum sentence will be 10 years.