Cynthia’s plea against Rehman Malik dismissed

Published August 6, 2020
Police report says Cynthia D. Ritchie had not produced any evidence to corroborate allegations of rape or harassment. — Facebook screengrab/File
Police report says Cynthia D. Ritchie had not produced any evidence to corroborate allegations of rape or harassment. — Facebook screengrab/File

ISLAMABAD: A local court on Wednesday dismissed a petition of US blogger Cynthia D. Ritchie seeking registration of a rape case against Senator Rehman Malik, after a police report termed the complaint baseless.

The police report stated that Ms Ritchie had neither produced any evidence to corroborate the allegation of rape in 2011 nor had she placed any material on record to show that she had been harassed.

Additional district and sessions judge Nasir Javed Rana heard Ms Ritchie’s petition. Her counsel, Imran Feroz Malik, argued that the police had refused to register an FIR against Mr Malik on her complaint.

In her application filed with the Secretariat police station on June 17, Ms Ritchie accused Mr Malik of raping her at his residence in 2011. She also stated that the former interior minister in connivance with former premier Yousuf Raza Gillani had employed the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) media cell to intimidate, threaten, harass and defame the US citizen on social media.

On her petition, the court had ordered the police to submit a report on the matter.

The police in response to the court order submitted the report stating that Ms Richie had not filed any complaint with the Secretariat Police Station regarding her rape allegations back in 2011. The police also maintained that no medical report had been attached with the application as evidence to prove that she had been assaulted. The report termed the stance of Ms Ritchie doubtful in the absence of substantial evidence and inadequate for registration of an FIR as the police found no truth in it.

Defamation case

Meanwhile, the same court also dismissed a petition filed by Senator Malik seeking registration of a defamation case against the blogger.

Through a defamation notice to the blogger, Mr Malik had demanded that Ms Ritchie pay Rs500 million in damages, ‘promptly’ withdraw the allegation “in the same manner in which it was released and posted on social, print and electronic media” within 15 days of receiving the notice, as well as an “unqualified apology”.

The court dismissed the petition due to non-prosecution of the case.

Earlier, an additional district and sessions judge on a petition filed by PPP’s district president Raja Shakeel Abbasi had ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) cybercrime wing to book Ms Ritchie for her alleged defamatory tweet against former prime minister of Pakistan and slain chairperson of the PPP Benazir Bhutto.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2020

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