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Police barred from arresting couple

HYDERABAD, April 8: Sindh High Court Hyderabad circuit bench here on Tuesday restrained Badin police from arresting a couple till next date of hearing and ordered that police may record statement of petitioners under section 164 Cr.PC before a magistrate.

The order was passed on a constitutional petition filed by Ms. Madiha alias Mariam and her husband Najmuddin Khaskheli, who cited Maqbool Ahmed, girl’s father, SHO police station Matli, TPO Matli and DPO Badin as respondents.

The girl in her petition said that she had left her house on March 15 on her own free will as she apprehended that she would be married against her will.

She said that she wanted to marry Najmuddin and that she swore an affidavit of free will before Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate-II Kotri on March 15. She said that her nikah was solemnised the same day. She added that her father was annoyed and at the instance of relatives lodged a false FIR with Matli police on March 18 under section 365-B, 458/34 PPC.

She said that Najmuddin did not kidnap her or trespass into the house of her father. She said that she had married him of her own free will.

She apprehended danger to her life at the hands of her father and relatives. She further said that police were chasing them to send them behind bars on cooked up charges. She prayed the court to quash FIR against her husband and restrain the respondent from arresting them.

She said that protection should be provided to them.

The petitioners appeared before court along with their counsel, Muhrram G.Baloch, who contended that heavy contingent of police were present outside the court with the intention to arrest them.

He apprehended that his clients would be subjected to undue harassment and humiliation and prayed for legal protec-tion. He also produced copy of Nikah of girl with Najmuddin.

The Additional Advocate General waived notice and submitted that in view of contention of counsel, an interim order could be passed, retraining police from arresting them till next date of hearing.

The court while considering the argument that prima facie petitioners were lawfully wedded couple and produced nikahnama and that they were present in court to refute allegations of abduction, ordered that investigating officers concerned shall not arrest them till next date of hearing.

However, the court said, process of investigation shall not be hampered and investigating officer may conduct proper investigation and he may also record the statement of petitioners and even statement under section 164 Cr.PC of girl.

The court directed police to submit report under section 173 Cr.PC after completing investigation. The matter was adjourned till April 29.
Source: Dawn
Date:4/9/2008

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