SHC bans all trials under Jirga system

Published Apr 25, 2004 12:00am

SUKKUR April 24: A single bench of the Sindh High Court here has banned all trials conducted under the Jirga system throughout Sindh and ordered that those found violating the SHC orders , will be charged under the contempt of court law, irrespective of their status or influence.

The SHC single bench, comprising Justice Rehmat Hussain Jaffery, announced this order on Friday, during hearing of a petition filed by Shazia Mangi and Ehsan Chachar of Daharki, seeking protection from the court against the tribal elders.

The couple had married of their free will and sought protection for their lives, as they have been declared karo-kari by their tribe.

The petition was heard by Justice Rehmat Hussain Jaffery, who wrote the judgment at Karachi, and sent it to Sukkur bench, where it was announced by Justice Zia Pervaiz on Friday.

Shazia Mangi, in her petition against 15 respondents, including eight influentials of Chachar tribe, RPO, Sukkur, DIGP, Sukkur, DPO, Ghotki, SHO, Daharki, Incharge police post Rawanti, had requested the court to direct the respondents not to harass and humiliate the family of her in-laws and not to lodge false FIR in order to pressurize the in-laws of the petitioner, with aim of handing over the petitioner to the influential persons of the Chachar tribe.

The petitioner has further prayed to the court to restrain the influential respondents from holding trial by Jirga against the petitioner, and also to take bond from the influentials of Chachar tribe regarding the safety and security of the petitioner and her husband.

The petitioner also prayed that the court declare the Jirga as illegal, unlawful, and against the law of the land.

Justice Rehmat Hussain Jaffery, in his 48-page landmark judgment, said that under the West Pakistan Criminal Law (amendment) Act 1963, such trials which were commonly known as Jirga trials, were permissible, but the law has now been repealed and the Jirga system is unlawful and illegal, and against the provisions of the constitution and law of the land.

The court observed that the police are duty bound to take appropriate action to prevent the holding of Jirga within their jurisdictions. The press which have already played a commendable and positive role, in this behalf, is expected to continue to play the same role by pinpointing the assembly of Jirga, so that the police can act promptly according to law and such information can be made available to the police through their own intelligence agencies.

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