Tuesday, November 29

Police challan says Dua married Zaheer of her free will

KARACHI:Police in Karachi submitted challan in the Dua Zahra case in the court of Judicial Magistrate-East on Thursday.

Quoting Dua, the challan said that she had gone to Punjab to marry Zaheer of her free will. It was further told that the charge of kidnapping against her husband could not be proved. “Dua’s Nikah was solemnized in Lahore,” read the challan. Citing the girl’s medical report, the challan said her age was 16 to 17 years. It was also informed that two persons, arrested in connection with the case namely Asghar and Ghulam Mustafa, had been found innocent.

Eight days back, on June 8, 2022, the Sindh High Court had disposed of the case of Dua Zahra’s parents, ordering the authorities to produce the girl before the Lahore High Court (LHC) which was also hearing a case filed by Dua’s in-laws.

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

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 and took the girl and her husband in their protective custody.

Dua’s father had registered a case of 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.