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Although several eloping incidents occurred in the capital in the past two months, it is difficult to judge whether someone had eloped or had been kidnapped.

Usually when a family believes its member has eloped with someone, it registers a case of kidnapping under Pakistan Penal Code 365B. This section deals with kidnapping or inducing a woman in order to compel her for marriage.

This is what happened when a family from Dhoke Paracha in Golra accused a clerk of police line headquarters of kidnapping a girl, and approached the jirga for her recovery on May 31.

During the negotiations, the clerk refused to hand over the girl. This infuriated one of the family members who fired at the clerk, resulting in the injury to the clerk’s brother, an assistant sub inspector stationed at Kohsar police station.

The family then overpowered the clerk and drove him away, but was intercepted at the Islamabad Toll Plaza. The members were arrested and shifted to the Golra police station, while the clerk was allowed to leave.

The girl’s family members were booked for attempted murder, criminal intimidation, rioting with arms and unlawful assembly in response to the complaint lodged by the clerk’s brother.

During subsequent interrogation, the family members told the police that the clerk had kidnapped the girl, upon which a case was registered against him and his brother under PPC 365B.

However, the clerk’s family, when approached by the police, said the girl had not been kidnapped and had willingly left her house to marry the clerk.

The ASI also denied the whereabouts of the girl, stating that only his brother knew where the girl was. The police were unable to approach the clerk, as he had managed to escape.

The next day, the police obtained a judicial remand of the girl’s family members, and sent them to jail for trial.

Later, the girl sent her statement to the police through a lawyer, stating that she had willingly left her house, but she did not appear in person before the police or the magistrate. However, there is no legal value of the girl’s statement since she had not provided the statement before the magistrate.

The police investigators found that the girl was staying at the Darul Aman in Islamabad, where she had come two days after her family members had attacked the clerk.

Furthermore, it was revealed that she had initially been staying with her friend in Rawalpindi before being brought to the Darul Aman by the clerk.

The police said the kidnapping case could be resolved immediately if the girl gave her statement in front of the magistrate.

Furthermore, the family members need the clerk’s pardon to quash the case against them. However, police were of the view that a pardon would be granted only if the issue was settled.

In another incident, a man registered a complaint stating that his wife had eloped with another person, and had also taken away gold ornaments and cash worth Rs500,000. In response the Golra police registered a case against the alleged kidnapper under PPC 365B.

The complainant said his wife had transferred the cash to her account before leaving on February 22. He alleged that he and his wife had gone to visit her parents’ house in E-11/4.

When the door bell rang, she went to answer it, but did not return. He said his wife had eloped and had also taken gold ornaments with her, adding that the accused had booked two airplane tickets for Karachi, but had not traveled on them.

However, on February 25, the wife appeared before police and gave her statement saying that she had been abducted by the accused and had been detained at two places.

She said her brother had recovered her on February 25, and during the three days, the accused had forcefully obtained her signature on two different cheques and had forced her to marry him.

She further alleged that she had been abducted when she had gone to answer the door bell, adding that the accused had snatched her purse and her mobile as well.

While hearing the case on June 5, Sessions Judge West Rakhshanda Shaheen observed that the wife’s allegations regarding the snatching of the purse showed that she had planned to elope with someone. The judge stated that PPC 365B did not apply since there was no evidence of abduction.

The sessions judge said the transfer of Rs500,000 by the wife before leaving her house made it difficult to believe that she had been abducted by the accused.

Furthermore, it was difficult to believe that the woman went to answer the door while carrying her mobile and her purse.

The counsel of the accused, Aniza Nasir, told Dawn that the case had been fabricated for the vested interest of the wife, as she had borrowed money worth Rs45,000 from the accused with whom she used to work.

Advocate Nasir further said that the case was spoiling the career and the life of the accused, as the organisation had not released his salary since the case was registered.

“He (the accused) had married some months ago, and the incident has adversely affected his marriage life,” she added.