KARACHI: The father of the girl, Dua Zehra, who had gone missing from her Karachi home and later surfaced in Punjab, filed a petition in the Sindh High Court asking it to declare his daughter’s alleged marriage illegal since she was an underage person.

Syed Mehdi Ali Kazmi stated in the petition that as per her educational, birth certificates and other record, Dua’s age was 13 and under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act 2013 it was illegal to marry with a minor/underage.

While citing the Sindh home secretary, inspector general of police, SSP-East, Dua’s alleged husband Zaheer and others as respondents, he also sought directives for officials respondents to locate the whereabouts of the girl, recover her and hand the custody to her parents.

The petitioner argued that his daughter went missing from his home in Malir on April 16 and he lodged a case at the Al-Falah police station, but the investigating officer of the case did not file a charge sheet of the case before a judicial magistrate concerned.

He further stated that he came to know through social media that her daughter had allegedly contracted marriage with Zaheer Ahmed, a resident of Lahore, and the girl was seemed to be afraid and under pressure in a press conference.

The petitioner submitted that he was married in May 2005 and Dua was born in April 2008.

He submitted that he and his daughter belonged to Shia school of thought in which nikah without wali was null and void.

He contended that the offence in question came within the domain of the Child Marriage Restrain Act, Pakistan Penal Code and other laws.

He submitted that the accused as well as the nikahkhwan and witnesses should be called before SHC and litigation may be initiated against them under the relevant laws.

He submitted that he received the alleged marriage certificate through social media, and the age of his daughter was mentioned as 18. He said she was forcibly abducted and alleged marriage was also void.

The petitioner asked the court to order medical examination of his daughter.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2022

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