The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday accepted US blogger Cynthia Ritchie's request to withdraw a petition seeking the registration of a criminal case against Senator Rehman Malik for allegedly raping her in 2011.
Accepting the request, Justice Amir Farooq dismissed Ritchie's petition while the former interior minister also withdrew his petition for registration of a defamation case against the US blogger.
Ritchie's lawyer Imran Feroze Malik, speaking to Dawn.com, said the petition had been withdrawn on the request of Ritchie herself. "Today we have withdrawn all the petitions based on multiple requests."
He additionally said Senator Malik had also withdrawn his petitions after reconciliation between the two.
In June last year, Ritchie had come out with startling allegations of rape by the former interior minister and assault by other PPP leaders in 2011. In a video released on Facebook, Ritchie said, "In 2011, I was raped by the former interior minister Rehman Malik. That's right, I'll say it again. I was raped by the then interior minister Rehman Malik."
Ritchie said she was reserving "some of the more graphic details" because her audience could include children, but added that she would be "happy to go into more detail" with neutral investigative journalists.
A spokesperson for Malik denied the allegations and responded, "He [Malik] does not want to respond directly, but denies the allegations". "The allegations are untruthful and have been made to harm Senator Rehman Malik's reputation."
Ritchie had submitted a petition with the IHC under sections 22-A and 22-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking a directive for police to register a criminal case against Malik after her allegations were dismissed by the justice of peace (twice), District and Sessions Court, Islamabad, and by police.
The former interior minister had also submitted petitions with the IHC seeking registration of a defamation case against Ritchie. However, later in October 2020, Malik said he would opt not to pursue criminal and civil cases against Ritchie.