Govt asked to file appeal in Mazar rape acquittal

Published October 14, 2021
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail addresses a press conference at Governor's House in Karachi. — APP/File
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail addresses a press conference at Governor's House in Karachi. — APP/File

KARACHI: Sindh Gover­nor Imran Ismail on Wed­nes­day asked the provincial government to challenge the recent acquittal of three men in the retrial of 2008 Mazar-i-Quaid gang-rape case, calling the situation a source of “insecurity to the womenfolk throughout the country”.

After acquitting all the three accused through a short order, a sessions court in its detailed judgement last week ruled that the evidentiary value of a DNA test was not acceptable in a case falling under the penal provisions of zina punishable under the Hudood laws, which had its own “standard of proof”.

The governor wrote separate letters to the Sindh Advocate General and Pro­secu­tor General stating that the sessions court jud­ge­ment contravened a number of verdicts of the Supreme Court.

“Moreover, it has conveyed a message of insecurity to the womenfolk throughout the country, which constitutes 54 per cent of the total population. In this way a prevailing sense of insecurity has been increased for the women of the country,” the governor wrote in the letters to the top law officers of the Sindh government.

The then assistant manager security of the mausoleum, an accountant and a personal assistant to the resident engineer of the Quaid-i-Azam Management Board were charged with abducting an 18-year-old woman during a visit to the mausoleum and subjecting her to a sexual assault on the night of March 15, 2008. She was found in an unstable condition outside the mausoleum on March 17 and Rangers personnel had handed her over to the Brigade police.

In the detailed verdict, the judge noted that medico-legal officer Dr Rohina Hassan deposed that there was no mark of violence on the body of the victim, who was very sluggish. The court pointed out that the clothes of the victim produced in court as evidence were not sealed, while prosecution witness Dr Ghulam Sarwar Channa deposed that he did not see any injury on the body of the accused regarding rape.

“The DNA test may help in establishing the legitimacy of a child for several other purposes, its utility and evidentiary value is acceptable but not in a case falling under the penal provisions of zina punishable under the Hudood laws having its own standard of proof,” the judge wrote in the verdict.

However, the Sindh governor found it a “fit case” for filing an appeal before the high court within a month against the sessions court judgement in accordance with the law.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Untruths and politics
Updated 01 Oct, 2022

Untruths and politics

It would arguably be in the national interest for the Supreme Court to take up the cipher and settle the matter.
Farmers’ protest
01 Oct, 2022

Farmers’ protest

SEVERAL hundred farmers have converged on Islamabad for the last three days to protest against the soaring costs of...
Dasht-i-Barchi bombing
01 Oct, 2022

Dasht-i-Barchi bombing

ON Friday morning, Kabul’s Dasht-i-Barchi neighbourhood was rocked by a terrorist attack targeting an educational...
Avenfield relief
Updated 30 Sep, 2022

Avenfield relief

Accountability cannot continue to be treated like a revolving door in which politicians can be shoved in or pulled out on a whim.
Dar’s plans
Updated 30 Sep, 2022

Dar’s plans

For starters, the country doesn’t have spare dollars to burn.
Another targeted attack
30 Sep, 2022

Another targeted attack

WEDNESDAY’S deadly attack on three Chinese-origin individuals in Karachi’s Saddar area demonstrates the threat...