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DNA test in rape cases


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THIS refers to the news item in Dawn on May 30.

The Council of Islamic Ideology, headed by Maulana Muhammad Khan, has ruled that that DNA test is unacceptable as primary evidence in case of rape but can be used as secondary or circumstantial evidence to support direct or substantive evidence.

He also added that ‘Islamic procedure’ should be adopted during investigation.

This edict must have shocked all those who have even rudimentary knowledge of DNA in forensics.

In modern criminal investigation, DNA has proved to be a vital incontrovertible evidence as DNA like fingerprints of no two persons is the same.

The process is quite simple. Body tissue cells like hair, blood or other body fluid, etc, of the victim of the rape and the suspect are put to DNA test. If the DNA sequence in both the samples is the same, it conclusively proves that the cells are from the same person responsible for the crime.

The learned Maulana while speaking about DNA perhaps had in mind only the Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1997 which, for the punishment of zina liable to ‘Hadd’, requires at least four adult male truthful witnesses, all of them should be present and have actually seen the act.

However, offence of simple Zina under section 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code does not require evidence of four truthful male eyewitnesses to the act, if there be such an orgy. Even the solitary evidence of the victim herself, let alone DNA test, can sustain rape conviction.

S.M. ANWAR Karachi

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

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Comments (29) Closed

M. Siddique USA Jun 07, 2013 01:05pm
These Mullahs have no clue what is DNA. Allah has ordained Muslims to go explore my creation and then He says I have not made two people the same. That means go and see how you are different. Unfortunately when Mullahs were bombing schools non Muslims were following that command and doing research. They discovered DNA and substantiated what Allah said. And now if we are stuck in time and refuse to do Ijtehad then it our backwardness. This CII should be disbanded and get rid of it. All laws should be revised in the light of this.
Agha Ata Jun 07, 2013 12:48pm
But you must add the statement of a wittnesss of no less then a mullah of a mosque nearest to the crime scene. That alone could be enough to prove or disprove a rape. DNA or no DNA.
Imran Yousufzai Jun 07, 2013 09:20am
Currently, the biggest threat to Islam are the people who are giving a face to Islam. People like Taliban and like our existing Moulvis, to be more specific people like Maoulana Fazal Ur Rehmaan. These are the faces and their mind set which is seen as Islam in the entire world. The decision taken by CII is in total negation of Islamic teachings and Islamic ideology. These so called alam - bardar of Islam has only one mission and objective and that is to retain their identity as scholars and Islamic leaders and in order to achieve this the best and simple way for them is to distort the religion and create confusion, which is a worst sin then Zina. These so called Islamic leaders couldn't get the nation to celebrate even their religious festival on one single day. After reading about the decision of CII, I sincerely pray to Almighty Allah to rid us from these moulvis.
pankajdehlavi Jun 07, 2013 05:53pm
Now, Pakistanis should not complain, if rest of the world consider them bunch of backward people.
Javed Jun 07, 2013 05:42pm
I 100 % agree with you that CII needs to be disbanded as it is being run by ignorant, outdated and misguided people. These people can only misguide our nation and their decisions can have huge implications for our country.
Imran A. Jun 07, 2013 06:58pm
All I ask a mullah is, if his daugther or wife gets raped. What would he do? What laws would he want implemented?
dev Jun 07, 2013 07:54am
Why do Pakistanis always look at things from religious perspective? Can't they use commonsense. Who will dare to rape a women in front of four men unless they are accomplices of the men who is doing the act.
Imran Ahsan Mirza Jun 07, 2013 06:59am
Absolutely agree with you. These archaic clergy should be fully ignored. They are totally disconnected with the modern world. I condemn all those who promote their ignorance in the name of Islam.
AK Jun 07, 2013 08:07pm
Before passing any comments always keep in mind that our religion is for all ages (Allah Knows the Best). DNA match cannot prove whether it was rape or consensual sex. Maula is right, any lady can claim and frame someone in rape case. There must be eye withness account.
Alaf Khan Jun 07, 2013 09:31pm
"Body tissue cells of both the victim and the suspect are put to DNA test. If the DNA sequence in both sample is the same, it conclusively proves that the cells are from the same person responsible for the crime". Say again, please, Do you really mean that? How can two samples, each from a different person, have the same DNA sequence? Would a cytochemist please comment? Alaf Khan, MBChB, DCH, MRCP, FRCP.
abdul Jun 07, 2013 02:39am
i think Maulana Muhammad Khan has no right to be the head of the " islamic Ideology Council" . Such ill informed verdicts ( FATWAS) only ridicule our religion.
faryan786 Jun 07, 2013 10:41pm
Who is this joker, when their own loved one goes this kind of ordeal they are out for blood, and don't even abstain to take law in their own hands. Kamal Ataturk did absolutely the right thing with the mullahs of Turkey. They all deserved it. These guys were against the creation of Pakistan, for that they should have absolutely no say in Pakistani affairs.
Imran Jun 07, 2013 11:55pm
Rape is a crime that is hard to prove and even harder to disprove. DNA evidence is useful does not differentiate between consensual sex and rape as we see many women making fase rape allegations in the US.
Bakhtawer BIlal Jun 08, 2013 12:13am
Only four baighairat onlookers, who will later testify, can tell if such an incident happened. Nothing less, nothing more. If you are out to rape, just be careful, there should be only a maximum of three people watching you.
Goldy Jun 08, 2013 04:31am
D: did N: not A: allow wala part
MI Khan Jun 08, 2013 05:53am
Because our mullahs are simply ignorant people who cannot distinguish between adultery in front of a crowd and rape! And our people are sheep who blindly follow these mullahs with archaic, rusted minds.
MI Khan Jun 08, 2013 06:06am
Very useful comment.
Siraj Narsi Jun 08, 2013 06:47am
DNA is the miracle of Allah Almighty. These so-called Muslim scholars are actually denying the the truth of Allah's creation and Allah's miracle by denying it as acceptable evidence in rape and any other crime. How can a Muslim of any school of thought deny the truth of Allah's creation and His genius. I wonder when these so-called Molvi sahebans will learn the true spirit of Islam, its focus on knowledge and intellect, which is all nothing but a blessing of Allah.
Siraj Narsi Jun 08, 2013 06:56am
And what is the punishment for the four adult witnesses to the rape of an innocent and helpless woman, who actually saw the event happening, allowed it to happen, did not stop the worst crime against a woman, and then have the guts to be a witness in court of their own shameful act of being quiet witness??????? How come these "four adult" witnesses could not over power just one indivudual committing this crime????
ruffeek Jun 08, 2013 08:23am
The question posed by Sue Sturgess is quite valid (which is why the 9 thumbs down I see, at the time of writing this, is mystifying). In the context of rape evidence, DNA profiling can only prove or disprove sexual contact. Determining consent versus force is a more complex area that requires a more complete and detailed analyses of many different observations: marks of force and/or injury, psychological examination of the potential victim, and forensics analysis of the purported location. These are just a few of the tools that must be employed effectively to determine whether rape actually took place.
Amir Shah Jun 08, 2013 09:23am
All such kind of Mullahs should be transported to an island where they could practice their own pseudo religion.
S.H.Akbari Jun 08, 2013 10:05am
What else do you expect from the group of mullahs who do not accept Ijtehad. But Ijtehad means to be educated and wel knowledged which they are not and they do'nt want to be.
Ahmed Jun 08, 2013 02:16pm
How many zinas by consent can you prevent and punish. They happen all the time under the nose of government and communities. prostitution is one version of it. Zina by consent happening inside the four walls should be left to God to judge and punish. if you find few of them and punish them that will not make an example for the rest... people will after all do it in some other places. we all know people got to dubai and thailand or other similar resorts to make it happen. so finally the elites will get away with it the only ones who will finally be caught will be poor lot.
Ahmed Jun 08, 2013 02:12pm
maulana is there only to make fun of islam
S. Tanwir Hasan Jun 08, 2013 03:00pm
Pakistan will only improve if Mullah's are eliminated from process of ordaining and decision making otherwise fate of Pakistan is written on the walls.
Sue Sturgess Jun 07, 2013 03:43pm
which part of the DNA differentiates between consent and force?
@ Interfaith Jun 08, 2013 08:11pm
But the solution to that is not 4 witnesses.Rapes rarely happen in front of an audience.
Shruti Jun 08, 2013 08:13pm
I think people who dislike your comment are missing the sarcasm.
AHA Jun 08, 2013 09:39pm
So true, but awfully irrelevant.