Pakistan Qisas and Diyat Act: review of hurt laws and suggestions
Keywords:Qisas; Diyat; Hurt; Loss of Organ; Shajjah; Jurh; Wounds and Injuries; Social Justice; Ethics; Human Rights.
Introduction: Pakistan, at inception, inherited the British system of Criminal Justice and the same was followed till 1979 when the Qisas & Diyat (Q&D) Ordinance was introduced to provide for societal benefits. The Act has not been extensively reviewed although it is in practice in courts of law.
Objective: To review the Qisas & Diyat Act laws on hurt, and provide suggestions for consideration by the lawmaking authorities.
Materials & Methods: The review was conducted in the Department of Forensic Medicine, Rehman Medical College (RMC), in collaboration with the Department of Islamic and Pak Studies, RMC, for two years (2020-22) over frequent meetings and discussions among the staff and medical students of the college. The complete Q&D Act was downloaded from the internet, and reviewed item-wise based on a structured format and question points raised during meetings, using the Quran and Hadith as reference standards. Consensus was reached on need for further modification/improvement/clarification for all 17 items of discussion related to the domains of Hurt, Loss of Organ, Shajjah, and Jurh.
Results: Four items related to Pain required rephrasing, while an additional fifth item related to injuries of tendons/ligaments needed to be included. Three items related to Loss of Organ needed clarification regarding the practice of punishment for this domain. Six items related to Shajjah are not clear on definitions, and details of terminology and concepts. Three items related to Jurh have issues of classification, and details of injury.
Conclusion: The Qisas & Diyat Act needs extensive and in-depth review for justifying its practical implementation and causing actual benefit to victims, as well as improving the practice of Forensic Medicine in Pakistan.
Keywords: Qisas; Diyat; Hurt; Loss of Organ; Shajjah; Jurh; Wounds and Injuries; Social Justice; Ethics; Human Rights.