KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday dismissed an application filed by a man, who contracted marriage with an underage girl from Karachi, seeking contempt proceedings against the prosecutor general, Sindh, and investigating officer for fixing criminal liability regarding alleged abduction despite court orders.

After hearing both sides, a single-judge bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar dismissed the application for not being maintainable.

The prosecutor and lawyer for the complainant argued that the charge sheet of the case had already filed and the trial was set to begin soon and maintained that the application was not maintainable.

Zaheer, a resident of Lahore, through his lawyer submitted that the girl had contracted free-will marriage with him on April 17 in Lahore. However, the girl’s father nominated him as the main accused in the kidnapping case lodged at the Al-Falah police station.

TikToker Hareem Shah gets seven-day protective bail

The counsel for the applicant referred to two orders of a division bench of the SHC and argued that on June 6 and June 8, the SHC had recorded the statement of the girl on oath in which she denied to have been abducted and the bench had observed that no case of alleged abduction was apparently made out. The court had set the girl at liberty to decide as to with whom she was intending to reside or go along.

He further argued that the girl’s father had impugned the June 8 order of SHC before the Supreme Court and the apex court had dismissed the petition as not pressed since the petitioner was allowed to challenge the girl’s ossification test/report.

The lawyer stated that the observations and wisdom passed by the SHC and the same upheld by the apex court were binding upon the subordinate courts as well as for the prosecutor general and IO of the case, but they were bent upon to fix criminal liability against the applicant and to implicate his family members, which was blatant disobedience and tantamount as contempt.

Protective bail granted

The SHC on Monday granted seven-day protective bail to TikToker Hareem Shah in an inquiry into allegations of money laundering.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha directed the applicant to furnish a solvent surety of Rs25,000 and made it clear that if she failed to appear before the inquiry officer within stipulated time the surety will stand forfeited.

Fizza Hussain, better known as Hareem Shah, through her counsel filed the bail application stating that the Federal Investigation Agency had sent a call-up notice to her in January and in February the SHC had restrained the FIA not to take any coercive action against her and asked the applicant to join the inquiry, but she had not been able to reach Pakistan and join the inquiry.

The counsel further submitted that Ms Shah through her attorney again approached the SHC last week seeking identical relief, but the same was dismissed.

The lawyer argued that now the applicant had returned to the country and also present in courtroom and willing to join the inquiry. He pleaded for protection of law for limited period to enable her to join the inquiry.

Without touching the merits and demerits of the case, the bench granted her protective bail for a week.

In January, the FIA had launched a money laundering inquiry against the TikToker after she shared a video on social media in which she was seen sitting down with two stacks of British pounds. She claimed that she had travelled from Pakistan to the UK with a significant amount of cash.

Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2022

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