KOT ADDU: An additional sessions court in Kot Addu, which was hearing the case relating to the gang-rape order issued by a panchayat in Muzaffargarh district, has acquitted the nine nominated persons after the complainant and witnesses retracted their earlier statements.

The court moreover ordered for cases to be registered against the complainant and witnesses who had earlier alleged rape.

During the hearing on Tuesday of an interim bail of one of the nominated persons, the complainant and three witnesses appeared in the court.

They recorded fresh statements that deviated from the original ones, following which the court acquitted the nine accused persons after establishing their innocence while ordering for cases to be registered against the complainant and the eyewitnesses for false allegations of rape.

On a complaint of the investigating officer, an FIR was lodged by the police under section 213 against the complainant and witnesses who had initially lodged a rape case and later retracted their previous statements.

Police submitted a copy of the FIR in court.

Earlier on Jan 24, the panchayat was said to have ordered the gang-rape of the 40-year-old complainant after her brother was allegedly caught with a woman of the village.

Chief Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jillani had taken notice of the alleged incident on Feb 1.

The alleged incident had brought back memories of the Mukhtar Mai gang-rape order passed and carried out in the same Muzaffargarh district in the year 2002.

—Malik Tahseen Raza contributed to this report from Muzzafargarh.

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