No truth in Dua Zehra`s abduction story, IO tells court – 17 Jun 2022

KARACHI: Sindh police on Thursday recommended cancellation of an FIR lodged by parents of Dua Zehra, who had gone missing from Karachi and was recovered from Punjab, saying that theclaims about her kidnapping and being underage could not be proved.

On June 7, the Sindh High Court had allowed Zehra to decide whom she was intending to reside or go with af ter she denied on oath that she had been kidnapped by her purported husband, Zaheer Ahmed, saying that she had married him of her own free will.

The police had booked Zaheer Ahmed, cleric Hafiz Ghulam Mustaf a, who had allegedly solem-nised their underage marriage, and Ali Asghar, a witness to the marriage.

On Thursday, Judicial Magistrate (East) Aftab Ahmed Bughio fixed the matter for June 20 to hear arguments from the parties on the challan filed under Section 173 of the criminal procedure code.

Earlier, Investigating Officer (IO) DSP Shaukat Ali Shahani Kled the ñnalchallan stating that during investigation it was foundthat the circumstances, documentary evidence and statements of Dua Zehra were first recorded before a Lahore judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC and later before the SHC on oath and it turned out that the woman had gone from Karachi to Punjab of her own free will and no one had kidnapped her.

He said that a medico-legal of ficer`s certificate also suggested Dua`s age between 16 and 17 years, and therefore, no offence of herkidnapping was made out under Section 364-A of the Pakistan Penal Code, according to which an abductee`s age must be less than 14years.

The IO further said that since marriage of Dua and Zaheer had taken place in L ahore and because every province had different traditions and laws related to marriages, therefore, Sections 3 / 4 of the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2013 were also not attracted in the present case.

DSP Shahani stated that since the girl had denied before the magistrate and the SHC that she had been kidnapped, therefore, Section 216 (harbouring offender) of the PPC was also not applicable against the bridegroom`s 10 relatives, who on this basis had already been discharged f rom the case by the court under Section 63 of the CrPC.

Mr Shahani maintained that the remaining detained suspects, cleric Hafiz Ghulam Musfata and Asghar Ali, were also found to be innocent, thus their further detention would be injustice to them.

He recommended to the court to also discharge them from the case under Section 169 of the CrPC overlack ofevidence.

Concluding the report, the IO recommended to the magistrate to accept the challan in C-class and order cancellation of the FIR.

A case was registered under Sections 364-A (kidnapping or abducting a person under the age of 14), 216 (harbouring of fenders) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section3(i) of the Prevention of Trafficking in Person, 2018 read with Sections 3 / 4 of the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2013 at the Al-Falah police station on the complaint of the girl`s father, Syed Mehdi Ali Kazmi.

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