Increase font size Decrease font size Reset font size

Dua Zehra`s father approaches SC to help get her custody

By Ishaq Tanoli 2022-06-19
KARACHI: The father of Dua Zehra on Saturday approached the Supreme Court against an order of the Sindh High Court for setting the teenager at liberty to decide whom she intended to reside and go along with.

Syed Mehdi Ali Kazmi contended that the SHC in the impugned order, passed on June 8, had placed reliance upon a statement of the girl on oath and report of an ossification test, which showed her age between 16 to 17 years, contrary to credible Nadra and educational documents verifying her age to be about 14.

He further asserted that the SHC in its order has erred by setting the girl at liberty to decide her fate and settling a factual controversy regarding her age.

The petitioner also questioned whether the impugned order has infringed upon the exclusive jurisdiction of the family court to decide the question of age, final custody and guardianship of the girl.

He argued that on June 14, the investigating officer of the case in his report submitted before the trial court had clearly been influenced by the impugned order and sought cancellation of the FIR.

The petitioner submitted that his daughter went missing from their house in Malir on April 16 and a case about her abduction was lodged at the Al-Falah police station.

He further maintained that they came to know through social media that Dua had allegedly contracted marriage with Zaheer Ahmed, a resident of Lahore.

The petitioner pleaded that leave to appeal against the impugned SHC order be granted.

Besides setting the girl at liberty to decide her fate, the SHC in its June 8 order had also observedthat it cannot determine factual dispute about age as it may affect and prejudice the interest of any of the parties, but said the aggrieved parties may approach the trial court to contest and agitate the same.

While impleading the province of Sindh through home secretary, provincial police officer, senior superintendent of police (East), Al-Falah SHO and IO of the case as respondents in the civil petition, the petitioner contended that the SHC division bench deposed of his petition without considering, inter alia, the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code 1898, Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and Guardians and Wards Act 1890 and set the girl at liberty instead of committing her to lawful guardianship of her parents.

He further submitted that the ossification test was carried out by a single doctor instead of a medical board and the petitioner, being aggrieved by the impropriety of the test, assailed the same before the provincial health secretary soliciting formation of a medical board to conduct the test afresh as per established practice. The office of health secretary passed direction that the request of the petitioner be `put up urgent as per law.

The petitioner asserted that the mother and brother of alleged husband of Dua Zehra had also filed a writ petition before the Lahore High Court which had disposed of the same on June 10, after placing reliance upon the impugned SHC order.

The petitioner argued that on June 17, he had also written a letter to the Sindh police chief for reinvestigation of the case through a superior ofncer not below the rank of superintendent of police as he contended that currently, his daughter was in the illegal confinement of alleged abductor/husband and was faced with perpetual sexual abuse under the garb of child marriage.

He alleged that the Sindh High Court through the impugned order has defeated the parameters of the Guardians and Wards Act 1890 and that he has no alternative remedy to get custody of the teenage girl except for the apex court.