PESHAWAR/NOWSHERA, March 19: The Peshawar High Court on Monday directed the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to make a special law for curbing the custom of swara.
A single-bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan accepted an application filed by Hafeezur Rehamn, whose father and brother were allegedly killed when they refused to hand over his minor sister under the custom of swara for settling a dispute.
The bench ordered to shift trials of both the cases of attempted swara and murder from Dir Upper district to Peshawar.
The cases should be transferred to Peshawar district and sessions judge, who should either conduct the trials himself or entrust it to a senior additional district and sessions judge, the bench ordered.
The court ordered Khyber Pakhtunkhwa inspector general of prisons to transfer five of the accused arrested in those cases to Peshawar jail from Dir.
When the applicant informed the bench that the five accused were granted bail by Darul Qaza in Swat in the case of swara, the bench observed that there were loopholes in the existing provision of Pakistan Penal Code dealing with the inhuman custom. The bench observed that it was need of the hour to enact a special law for dealing with the menace.
The court ordered the federal and provincial governments to reconsider the said provision and make a special law to curb the tradition, which was a menace for the society.
The applicant claimed that he was a teacher at a seminary in Karachi and had to return to his village after the killing of his father, Maulana Daud, and his brother Abdul Hameed on Nov 12, 2011. He said that he was receiving threats from the accused.
The applicant stated that on the order of high court a police party was deputed for their safety but the officials had been asking for expenses from him.
The bench expressed annoyance over his claim observing when the court had ordered providing security to the family then why the police officials had been asking for money.
The five arrested accused were also produced before the court. They refuted the claims of the applicant stating that they had never threatened him.
On the order of the high court police had registered FIR on Dec 21 at Kalkot police station in the case of alleged swara. Five accused identified as Naqeeb Ahmad, Sherullah, Izzat Mohammad, Nasrullah and Wazir Mohammad were arrested whereas a prime suspect Sher Ahmad has still been absconding.
The chief justice had taken suo motu notice of the issue after Mr Rehman had appeared along with his four-year-old sister Asma on Dec 19 and submitted an application.
He alleged that his other sister, Rafia, was married to Subhanullah but their relations turned strained following which she got divorce from him through family court.
Mr Rehman said that later his sister was re-married to another person in Punjab over which family members of her former husband were annoyed.
He alleged that the accused said that his minor sister, who was at that time only two-years-old, should be given to them in swara as her elder sister had brought a bad name to them. On their refusal, he claimed, his father and brother were killed.
Meanwhile, a local court in Noweshera summoned on Monday the station hosue officer of Akora Khattak police station in a swara case.
Fourteen-year-old Lashmi had requested the court to provide her protection and order registration of an FIR against members of a jirga and rival family for marrying her off forcibly to settle a feud.
The court of additional district and sessions judge, Farah Attaullah, fixed March 22 for next hearing and directed Akora Khattak SHO to appear in person and explain the situation.