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DNA evidence

DNA evidence

THIS is apropos the letter ‘DNA evidence’ by Prof (Dr) Surayya Khatoon (Oct 5). She has attempted to convince the judiciary and the CII that they should differentiate between adultery (Zina or Zina bil raza) and rape (Zina bil jabr).

In the former case two people, a man and a woman, consensually commit the act, which is an offence under the PPC, as well as under the Hudood Laws. In such a case anyone who alleges the commission of the offence is burdened to present four male witnesses for proving the veracity of his claim which somehow seems plausible and logical.

This misogynic and adamant attitude of our judiciary and maulanas is obviously tantamount to abetting the perpetrators of this heinous crime, which has resulted in an alarming rise in the frequency of rape incidents.

The case of rape at the Mazar-i-Quaid was reported and pursued by the media and civil society but the victim was denied justice because the trial judge refused to accept the DNA test as primary evidence in spite of a glaring reality that the she had been kidnapped during a power breakdown.

The result is that the perpetrators of her ordeal were acquitted while she and her family will have to face taboo forever.

Can a judge or a maulana logically believe that the victim in this incident or in the rape case of the Ganga Ram Hospital, where the victim was a minor girl, was able to recognise the assailant let alone presenting four male witnesses?

Evolution of law through jurisprudence is a perpetual process and, therefore, it is the duty of the state to make law abreast with the needs of the time so that doers of such heinous crimes can be brought to justice. The DNA test being a flawless and reliable scientific technique has been universally accepted as an evidence for conviction of criminals.

The CII’s refusal to accept the DNA test as a primary evidence is an attempt to perpetuate the primitive criminal justice system by thwarting the way for introduction of modern forensic technologies which better ensure justice for both the victim and the accused.

The writer’s suggestion that the parliament should take lead for legislation in this regard by putting aside impractical and absurd recommendations of the CII is highly appreciable. Only an exemplary punishment to the offenders of Ganga Ram Hospital and Sea View incidents on the basis of the DNA test will act as a strong deterrent for potential assaulters.

ASGHAR SHAHEEN
Karachi

DAWN

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