LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday summoned the investigation wing senior superintendent of police (SSP) and senior officials of Punjab law and home departments in a petition seeking enforcement of the Anti Rape (Investigation and Trial) Act 2021 by the police while probing rape cases.

Justice Ali Zia Bajwa was hearing the petition filed by a rape survivor against the non-implementation of the law by the police during the investigation of rape cases.

Advocate Mian Dawood, the petitioner’s counsel, submitted that the petitioner was subjected to sexual assault in June last and the police were yet to record her statement under section 164 of the CrPC.

He said the investigating officer in her report wrote the petitioner did not join the investigation. However, he said, when the petitioner-cum-complainant appeared before the IO the suspect was sitting in an air-conditioned room, instead of the police lockup.

Assaulted in June, complainant’s statement yet to be recorded

The counsel said the IO jumped to the conclusion without waiting for the results of the DNA test and rejected the incident of rape. He said since the day of incident the petitioner had been moving from pillar to post against the criminal negligence of the police, but to no avail.

The lawyer argued that the anti-rape law envisaged establishment of special sexual offences investigation units in every district with trained police officials to probe rape incidents.

He said the trial courts were also not following the guidelines issued by the superior judiciary and the law enacted by the parliament to deal with the rape cases.

He asked the court to order the respondents to strictly implement the law for investigation in the cases of rape.

The judge directed the respondents to appear in person on Dec 15, along with their written replies.

Sattukatla police had registered the case on the complaint of the petitioner against the suspect.

notices to Alvi, Shehbaz: The Lahore High Court on Friday issued notices to President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif through their principal secretaries on a petition challenging Raja Riaz’s nomination as opposition leader in the National Assembly.

Justice Abid Hussain Chattha heard Munir Ahmad’s petition in which Azhar Siddique, petitioner’s counsel, argued that the resignations of the MNAs belonging to the PTI had not been accepted by the National Assembly speaker.

He said MNA Riaz was illegally appointed as the new opposition leader in the assembly. The opposition leader’s participation in the appointment of the chief election commissioner and the National Accountability Bureau chairman was significant.

He said the respondent MNA was from the opposition, but he backed the government’s actions.

He emphasised that the LHC previously directed the NA speaker to rule on the petitioner’s application against the nomination of the opposition leader in accordance with the law.

However, he said, the speaker dismissed the application without furnishing reasons.

He asked the court to set aside the notification about the appointment of MNA Riaz as opposition leader for being in violation of the Constitution.

Justice Chattha also sought assistance from the attorney general for Pakistan and the advocate general of Punjab on the matter.

The judge issued a notice to MNA Riaz as well on an application seeking a stay order against his functioning as interim relief pending a decision on the main petition. The judge would resume further hearing on Jan 18, 2023.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2022

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