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Girl declared minor three years after ‘marriage’

Girl declared minor three years after ‘marriage’

HYDERABAD: A single bench of the Sindh High Court, Hyderabad circuit, on Thursday allowed a young girl to go with her widowed mother after a special medical board found that the girl married off three years ago had yet to attain the age of puberty.

The bench comprising Justice Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui perused the Sept 9 report submitted by the seven-member board formed on the court’s directives.

The girl’s mother, Ms Shama, in her habeas corpus application under Section 491 of the criminal procedure code had stated in her petition that Mir Mohammad Shar, Juman Shar, Ramzan Shar and Abdullah Shar had kept her daughter, Farzana, and her niece, Piya Mari, in illegal confinement.

She said that the one of the respondents, Abdullah Shar, had married her underage daughter, Farzana, three years back.

The court order read: “It is sadly learnt that she was forced to marry Abdullah perhaps when she was nine years old even if recommendation of board that presently she is 12 years is taken to be correct.

That appears to be an offence under provision of Pakistan Penal Code, Hudood Laws and Child Restrain Marriage Act.”

The court set the petitioner at liberty to approach a relevant forum for getting her grievance redressed.

Accordingly, the child, who was brought to the court from Darul Aman in the previous hearing, was handed over to the mother.

The judge noted that on the last date of hearing the child was produced in court without supervision of any officer from Darul Aman.

“When custody is entrusted to Darul Aman, it is expected that concerned authorities/official conerned shall ensure that they should be produced before this court or before any other authority under their supervision and should not hand over/left at the mercy of any police official,” the court observed, and warned the Darul Aman administration to be careful in future.

The court also directed the police officials present in court to escort the child and her mother out of the court premises.

DAWN

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