Ruet-e-Hilal Bill To Legalize Body, Remove Seasonal Controversies: Religious Ministry

Ruet-e-Hilal Bill to legalize body, remove seasonal controversies: Religious ministry

The Pakistan Reut-e-Hilal Bill 2021, tabled in the National Assembly a fortnight ago, will provide a legal cover to the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee and streamline its functioning as per set-pattern

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 28th Jan, 2022 ) :The Pakistan Reut-e-Hilal Bill 2021, tabled in the National Assembly a fortnight ago, will provide a legal cover to the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee and streamline its functioning as per set-pattern.

According to a Religious Ministry official, the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee was established in 1974 through a resolution and it was functioning under the same umbrella till date.

There was a dire need to provide the committee a legal cover and formulate a proper mechanism to remove all seasonal controversies for its smooth functioning, he exchanged these views while talking to APP on Friday.

He said the Religious Ministry needed the seal of approval from the provincial assemblies for the bill as per the Law Division's advice, because after the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the subject was devolved to the provinces.

Religious Minister Noorul Haq Qadri made special requests to all the chief ministers to get the resolutions passed from their respective assemblies, the official added.

He said after getting a green signal from the provincial assemblies, the Religious Ministry drafted the bill in consultation with all the provincial governments. After being vetted by the Law Division and the Cabinet Committee for Legislative Cases, the Federal Cabinet gave its consent to present the bill in the National Assembly.

He said the bill, which was with the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, would reshape the whole business of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.

The official said the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee would have its representation at grassroots level across the country through forming committees at federal, provincial and district levels. Only the central committee's chairman would be authorized to make announcement about the moon sighting after taking all stakeholders in confidence, he added.

He said if someone violated the standard operating procedures, he would be punished as per law of the land. According to the proposed law, the violator would be fined Rs. 50,000. However, if someone provided false testimony about the moon sighting, he would be penalized three years imprisonment or Rs. 50,000 fine or both, he added.

He said the law had also empowered the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to cancel the licence or impose a fine of Rs.1 million on the television channels for making any announcement regarding sighting of the moon before the official announcement of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee. The bill would makes it binding on courts to decide the matters related to the law within 60 days, he added.

The official made it clear that after the passage of this bill, there would be complete ban on any other committee formed by individuals for moon sighting.