SHC takes exception to police failure to produce Dua Zehra – 20 May 2022

Karachi: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday took exception to the police performance for not producing Dua Zehra, a girl who went missing from the Shah Faisal Colony area last month and later found to have married a man in Punjab, despite a court order, and directed police to produce her.

The high court was hearing the petition for recovery of Dua and cancellation of her marriage under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, as the girl’s family has been claiming that she is underage for marriage.

The SHC had on a previous hearing directed the police to produce the girl before court.

Petitioner Syed Mehdi Ali Kazmi had submitted in the petition that his daughter Dua went missing after leaving the house on April 16 and a case was registered at the Al-Falah police station on kidnapping and prevention of trafficking charges.

He submitted that the police had failed to file a charge sheet in the case with regard to kidnapping of her daughter before the concerned magistrate despite knowing the confirmed fact that she was in the custody of a man, Zaheer Ahmed, resident of Lahore.

He informed the SHC that his daughter during her confinement at Ahmed’s house claimed marriage with him but she seemed to be afraid and under pressure in a video.

He said Dua was just 14 years old and belonged to the Shia sect so her marriage without Wali and under the law of Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act was also void and ab initio.

The high court was requested to direct the police to inform it about Dua’s whereabouts and set her free from the illegal detention from her alleged spouse.

The father also requested the high court to direct the police to ensure her production before court and declare her alleged marriage with Ahmed to be unlawful and void ab initio under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act.

The Korangi SSP filed a statement before court submitting that the Al-Falah SHO was in coordination with the investigation team of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) for the recovery of the girl and a police team went to Lahore for that but so far, no success had been achieved.

He also sought time to trace the whereabouts of the girl.

A division bench of the high court headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro took exception to the police failure to recover the girl and observed that she released videos and issued statements in a press conference but the police could not trace her whereabouts.

The SHC issued notice to the AVCC SSP and others, and directed them to produce Dua before court on May 24.

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