The Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) is the basis of all legislations in Pakistan. It was instituted in 1860 by the Government of British India as the Indian Penal Code. With the partition of India in 1947, the new country inherited the same code and subsequently made several amendments making it more religiously oriented[^1^].
The PPC covers almost all the crimes happening in the society, from murder to theft, from adultery to blasphemy. It has a total of 511 sections covering various aspects of the criminal law. The code applies to any offence committed by a Pakistani citizen anywhere and on any Pakistani registered ship or aircraft[^2^]. The code also applies to any offence committed by a foreigner who is in the service of Pakistan[^2^].
One of the sections of the PPC is section 223, which deals with the offence of escaping from custody. According to this section, whoever escapes from any lawful custody or rescues or attempts to rescue any other person from any lawful custody, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both[^2^]. This section also applies to any person who aids or abets such escape or rescue[^2^].
A book that explains the PPC in Urdu language is Pakistan Penal Code 1860 by Muhammad Akram Sheikh. This book is a comprehensive and updated commentary on the PPC, with references to case laws and judicial interpretations. The book also contains the text of the PPC in both English and Urdu languages, along with a table of contents and an index. The book is divided into 23 chapters, each covering a different part of the PPC. Chapter 10 covers section 223 and its related sections[^3^].
The book is useful for lawyers, judges, students, researchers and anyone interested in learning about the criminal law of Pakistan. The book is available online and can be ordered from various websites. The book has received positive reviews from readers and critics alike.
The criminal law in Pakistan is not only influenced by the colonial legacy, but also by the Islamic principles and values. The Constitution of Pakistan declares Islam as the state religion and requires all laws to be in conformity with the Quran and Sunnah. Therefore, some offences and punishments are derived from the Islamic sources, such as hudood (fixed punishments for crimes against God), qisas (retaliation for bodily injuries) and diyat (blood money for homicide or bodily harm)[^4^]. These offences and punishments are codified in separate laws, such as the Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance 1979, the Offence of Qazf (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance 1979, the Offence Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance 1979, the Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Order 1979, the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance 1990, and the Enforcement of Shariat Act 1991.
The criminal law in Pakistan also faces some challenges and criticisms from various quarters. Some of the challenges include the delay in justice delivery, the lack of fair trial guarantees, the abuse of power by law enforcement agencies, the corruption and inefficiency of judicial authorities, the politicization of criminal cases, the discrimination and violence against vulnerable groups, such as women, minorities and children, and the violation of human rights standards[^4^]. Some of the criticisms include the inconsistency and ambiguity of some laws, the harshness and disproportionality of some punishments, the conflict and contradiction between secular and religious laws, and the lack of reform and modernization of some outdated laws[^4^].
Despite these challenges and criticisms, the criminal law in Pakistan also has some strengths and achievements. Some of the strengths include the constitutional supremacy and independence of judiciary, the availability of multiple forums and remedies for redressal of grievances, the diversity and pluralism of legal sources and traditions, the participation and activism of civil society and media, and the resilience and adaptability of legal system[^4^]. Some of the achievements include the enactment and amendment of some progressive laws, such as the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act 2006, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2010 (on sexual harassment), the Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act 2011 (on acid throwing), the Criminal Law (Third Amendment) Act 2011 (on anti-terrorism), the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2016 (on honour killing), and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018[^2^] [^3^]. aa16f39245