Pakistan: Rape victim booked for adultery
- Rape victim booked for adultery: SC orders inquiry
ISLAMABAD, Oct 12: The Supreme Court on Thursday took serious notice
of a case in which a woman was raped but she was booked by police for
zina bil raza (adultery).
A bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and
Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi ordered a judicial inquiry into the matter.
Complainant Nasreen Mai was kept in illegal confinement for 11 months
by Iqbal, a relative of her father and her father's landlord Ali
Muhammad Saamtia. During this period she was raped by Iqbal as a
result of which she became pregnant and gave birth to a child. The two
culprits stole her one-month-old child and murdered.
"The Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance 1979 is attracting
criticism and objections only because of handling of hudood cases by
police in such a manner," the chief justice observed during suo motu
hearing of the complaint of Nasreen Mai.
During the hearing, the court was told that 46 rape cases registered
under the hudood laws in District Layyah were awaiting investigation
for months for want of a senior police officer.
DPO Layyah Nizam Shahid informed the bench that under the law, hudood
cases, especially rape matters, could not be investigated by a police
officer less than the rank of an SP. He stated that a request was sent
to the inspector general Punjab police on July 6, 2006, for
appointment of a senior police officer in the district but so far no
step had been taken.
"Therefore, Iqbal is still a free man," the DPO said, adding that
being a junior officer he could not take up the inquiry.
Additional Advocate-General Punjab Syed Azhar Hussain informed the
court that Nasreen Mai was married to one Allah Ditta but for seven
years she remained issueless. After some domestic dispute, she was
asked by her father to leave her husband and stay with him.
But Iqbal and Din Mohammad Saamtia, the AAG said, took her away and
kept her in illegal detention for eleven months during which she was
raped by Iqbal. When she become pregnant and subsequently gave birth
to a child, the family members of the landlord killed the baby, the
When asked why was an adultery case was registered against Nasreen,
the DPO explained that the police registered the case on the basis of
the findings of the District and Sessions judge Layyah.
However, the bench noted that the DJ Layyah, while compiling his
report, had relied upon the investigation of police instead of
conducting an independent judicial inquiry.
The bench remanded the case back to the DJ Layyah with instructions to
conduct fresh inquiry and ordered police to register a new case on the
basis of new findings of the DJ Layyah.
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