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Police told to produce free-will marriage couple in court

KARACHI: A division bench of the Sindh High Court reprimanded the police on Monday for failing to ensure the appearance of a free-will marriage couple under death threats from the girl’s relatives and asked it to trace their (the couple’s) whereabouts and bring them to the court by 11am on Tuesday.

The bench comprising Justices Sajjad Ali Shah and Moharram G. Baloch was shocked to hear from petitioner Nida Ansari’s brother, a private respondent, that she had gone to London along with a man who claimed to be her husband.

Nida and Saifullah said in their petition that they were married on June 16 in Karachi of their own free will. However, Nida’s father, brother and uncle lodged an FIR with the Fort police station, Hyderabad, where they belonged, alleging that she had been kidnapped by Saifullah. The couple was living in hiding in Karachi and only the investigation officer and other policemen concerned knew their address.

The petitioners first appeared in court on July 13. A division bench consisting of Justices Mushir Alam and Malik Muhammad Aqil allowed only Nida’s mother to see her at the nazir’s office at the repeated insistence of the respondents to meet her. The investigation officer was asked to record the petitioners’ statements under Section 161 of the criminal procedure code in Assistant Advocate-General Adnan Karim’s office. The police were asked to ensure their protection and appearance in court. The hearing was adjourned to July 20.

As the petition came up before another vacation division bench, the AAG informed it that both Nida and Saifullah reaffirmed the assertions made by them in their petition. They said they were living happily as wife and husband and their relatives should be prevented from harassing them. Respondent Waqas Ansari, Nida’s brother, rose at this stage to inform the court that she had already left for London along with Tahir, who was accepted as her husband by her family. The petitioners’ counsel expressed apprehensions about the couple’s fate and the court ordered their production on Tuesday.
Source: Dawn
Date:7/21/2009

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