Police told to produce Nimra as mother approaches SHC for marriage annulment

Jamal Khurshid
Friday, May 13, 2022

karachi: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday issued notices to the Sindh inspector general of police (IGP), District East SSP and other respondents on a petition for the recovery of Nimra Kazmi, a girl who went missing from the Malir area and then found to have married a man in Punjab of her own free will, and the cancellation of her marriage under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act.

The petitioner, Nargis, said her daughter Nimra went missing after leaving the house on April 20 and a kidnapping case was registered after her disappearance. The mother submitted that her daughter was not adult and the police had failed to file a charge sheet with regard to the kidnapping of her daughter despite knowing the fact that she had been in the custody of a man, Najeeb Shahrukh, a resident of Taunsa Sharif.

Nargis said that her daughter during her confinement at Shahrukh’s house had claimed to have married him but she seemed to be afraid and under pressure.

The petitioner said Nimra was below 18 years and she belonged to the Shia sect, so her marriage without a Wali and under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act was void and ab initio.

She submitted that the law did not permit marriage with a minor; therefore, Shahrukh, the Nikahkhawan and witnesses may be prosecuted under the Sharia and penal laws. She said that Nimra was 14 years old, which was also certified in the National Database and Registration Authority’s certificate as well as her education record.

The petitioner said that to ensure the welfare of the minor, the court must secure her presence and order that she be returned to her parents from the house of Shahrukh.

A division bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, issued notices to the IGP, home department, the SSP East and others, and called their comments on May 20. The court also directed the SSP East to ensure the presence of Nimra before the court on the next hearing.

Appeals dismissed

The Sindh High Court on Thursday dismissed the appeals of four convicts against their life imprisonment sentence in a kidnapping for ransom case.

Ali Akbar, Naeem, Mukhtar Ahmed, Roohullah were sentenced to life imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court for kidnapping a citizen for ransom and receiving Rs10.15 million for his release.

According to the prosecution, the appellants had abducted Raheel Alam in Gulistan-e-Johar on February 6, 2018, and demanded Rs350 million for his release. Later, the ransom amount was lowered to Rs10 million after negotiations.

Police arrested the kidnappers, recovered the ransom money from their possession, and rescued the citizen, who had been in captivity for 115 days.

The appellants’ counsel submitted that Ali Akbar and Naeem were not assigned any specific roles by the prosecution nor had the abductee been able to assign them any role in the kidnapping before trial court. They said nothing was brought on record that ransom was paid to the appellants for the release of abductee, while the money was paid by the appellants to the police, which was then foisted upon them while being labelled as ransom money. Besides, no identification parade was conducted through the abductee, the counsel said and sought acquittals of the appellants for want of evidence.

The additional prosecutor general submitted that the ocular account furnished by the abductee himself was fully corroborated and supported the impugned judgment. He requested the court to dismiss the appeals.

A division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha and Justice Khadim Hussain Tunio, after hearing the arguments of the case, observed that witnesses, the abductee and the complainant of the case were put through drawn out cross-examination at the trial court, but the defence were unable to point out any major discrepancies that may be fatal to the prosecution case.

The court observed that the identification parade was conducted while following all guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and there were no legal defects in the identification parade. The court dismissed the appeals of the convicts and maintained the life imprisonment sentence and other convictions under the anti-terrorism law.