The Governor of Punjab has signed the Protection of Women against Violence Bill, making it a formal law.

The bill restricts those accused of throwing acid on women, rape and other grave offences from visiting the workplace or areas frequented by the female concerned.

A court may also prohibit an offender from contacting the woman based on the evidence submitted by her, and order that the accused maintain a stated distance from the claimant.

Rafiq Rajwana signed the bill on February 29, after its approval by the Punjab Assembly five days earlier. In the first phase, the bill will be implemented in Multan.

The government is due announce the date of implementation of the bill in every area. The bill also states that female victims of domestic violence should not be evicted from homes without their consent and in case of such an event, the court would reinstate the position of the female concerned.

Other provisions in the bill state that a woman may be due compensation due to the damage suffered by her, and that firearms or ammunition in possession of those convicted of violence against women will be confiscated.

In case of wrongful accusation, a three-month jail sentence or a fine of Rs50,000 to Rs100,000 or both may be ordered.

Repeated breach of the court orders is punishable  with a two-year jail sentence or a fine of Rs 500,000.