The reviewing of the new penal code bill would be completed and sent to the Parliament in the coming two months, says Chair of the Bill's review committee of the Parliament and Bilehdhoo constituency MP Ahmed Hamza.
Hamza cited the “scale and complexity of the work” as a reason why the review had been delayed.
“It is an immense and arduous task. We have to assess the religious penalties entailed in the bill. There are also decisions to be made pertaining to the discretion afforded to the Judges. Bill also includes several additions to the criminal justice system,” he detailed.
He further claimed that opinion and expertise had been sought on various intervals and more areas in the bill still needed the same. To that end, Hamza detailed that the Committee would seek expertise over the religious penalties and principles entailed within the penal code and decide whether to retain the punishment presently included in the laws or add such penalties to the newly composed penal code.
“After the Committee completes its mandate, the bill would be forwarded to the Parliament members. After seeking the comments of the MPs it will be forwarded to the Parliament after revisions if needed. Then it would minimize the time spent on debate in the Parliament floor,” Hamza said.
The new penal code bill was submitted to the Parliament in 2006. The Maldives currently implements the penal code constituted in 1961, where several amendments have been made through the years.