Sindh High Court allows Dua Zahra to make decision with her free will

Directs police to produce girl before LHC: Says adult girl marrying of her free will cannot be handed over to parents

By: News Desk
Published: 01:15 PM, 8 Jun, 2022
Sindh High Court allows Dua Zahra to make decision with her free will
Caption: TV grab.
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The Sindh High Court on Wednesday disposed of the case of Dua Zahra's parents, ordering authorities the produce the girl before Lahore High Court (LHC) which was also hearing a case filed by Dua's in-laws, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

In its written verdict, the Sindh High Court allowed Dua to make a decision as per her free will and she can live with whom she chooses. However, the court after observing progress in case against Dua's husband directed police to submit a challan against Zaheer in the court.

In the three-page written order, Justice Junaid Ghaffar said the court reached the verdict in line with the testimonies. "In light of all the evidence, this is not a case of kidnapping. The alleged/minor Dua E Zahra Kazmi, pursuant to her statement on Oath and Age Certificate is set at liberty to decide as to whom she intends to reside and go along," the order read.

In the order, the court also said that it has decided to dispose of Zehra's father's — Mehdi Ali Kazmi — petition for her recovery as the case of his daughter was not of kidnapping.

Earlier, reserving its verdict in Dua Zahra case, the SHC refused to order the handover of Karachi girl, who had contracted marriage in Punjab of her free will, to her parents

During the hearing of the case, Justice Muhammad Junaid Ghaffar said that in the light of Supreme Court (SC) order, a girl marrying against the consent of her parents could not be reunited with them if she had attained the legal age of ‘Nikah’. “We understand your problem. But now when the girl’s medical report has confirmed that she is an adult, your case is over,” he said while addressing Dua’s sobbing parents

However, the judge allowed the parents to meet with their child in a court’s chamber for 10 minutes. 

Following the meeting, Dua’s mother, who had earlier fainted on seeing her daughter after a long time, claimed that her daughter had expressed willingness to return to her home. The court, however, refused to accept it, saying Dua had already made her statement in the court. 

Dua’s father challenges daughter’s medical report

On the other hand, Mehdi Ali Kazmi, Dua’s father, has challenged his girl’s medical report in which it has been confirmed that she is an adult. 

In a letter to Sindh secretary health, he has written that Dua was born on April 27, 2008, and the medical report presented in the court is ‘fake’. “Therefore, it is requested that my girl be medically examined again for the verification of her age,” he said.  

In yet another development, Dua’s father has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) in which he has prayed to the court to reject the application filed by mother and brother of his son-in-law Zaheer Ahmad against ‘police harassment’. 

However, the LHC registrar has raised objections to the petition.   

Dua Zahra, who had gone missing from Karachi, fled to Punjab and contracted her Nikah with Zaheer Ahmad in April, 2022. 

However, Karachi police, in collaboration with the Punjab police, recovered her in an action in Chishtian, Bahawalnagar a few days ago and took the girl and her husband in their protective custody.

Dua’s father had registered a case of the kidnapping of his daughter and also filed a petition in the court, requesting it to declare the Nikah of his daughter null and void as his daughter was a minor and she was even below the age of 14 at the time of her marriage. He had argued that underage marriage was a crime under the Child Marriage Act, 2013.

Reporters: Bilal Ahmed, Mumtaz Jamali