The federal government is set to introduce a new bill providing legal cover to the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony is reported to have already sent a draft bill to the law ministry to ensure the provision of proper legal status to the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.
As per the details, the new bill is aimed at providing legal cover to the committee and will ensure the provision of designated status to it, making it the sole power/body/authority to officially announce moon sightings in the country.
A three-year prison sentence along with a fine of Rs 5,000 is recommended in the bill for anyone sorting to announcing moon sighting in his own capacity.
Furthermore, the ministry in its bill, has also recommended well-defined and comprehensive guidelines, rules and regulations for the appointments of committee’s members and chairman, with the latter having a fixed tenure time-limit.
It is to be noted that so far, Ruet-e-Hilal Committee has been functioning without a legal cover since it was first formed in 1974 under a resolution passed by the National Assembly.
The development comes as Pakistan for years, has witnessed Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Azha being celebrated separately on different days in several areas of the country especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) where Mufti Shahabuddin Poplazai has often held independent Ruet meetings.