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SHC seeks progress report on SC guidelines in rape cases’ investigations

SHC seeks progress report on SC guidelines in rape cases’ investigations

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Friday directed the provincial government to file a detailed report on the implementation of guidelines given by the Supreme Court for reforms in investigation of rape cases.

A two-judge bench also directed the provincial authorities to consult the office of the advocate general in that connection and inform the court that what steps had been taken in the light of the apex court’s guidelines on the issue.

The bench was hearing a constitutional petition filed by three rape victim women who sought court’s injunction for reform in the investigation of such cases.

One of the victims said she was gang-raped in 2007 in Dadu. She said a case was registered against the accused persons, who, however, were acquitted by a sessions court.

The other victim said she was gang-raped by 10 men in Ghotki and only the prime accused was convicted, while the remaining men were exonerated from the charges.

The third petitioner said she was gang-raped in 2014 and the case against the accused persons was still pending disposal. She said the accused persons were very influential and trying to influence the case in their favour.

The petitioner women submitted that the apex court had earlier directed the authorities to make reforms in the investigation of the rape cases and establish rescue cells for the victims across the province.

Earlier, the court was informed by the provincial government that a 21-member Provincial Commission on Status of Women would be established within two months as its summary had been approved by the chief minister early this month.

As for the court’s direction regarding the establishment of safe houses and rescue centres for the victim women at district and taluka levels, the chief secretary had filed a list of notified safe houses in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions.

The report said all divisional commissioners had been instructed to use funds under the head of ‘maintenance and repair’ for the maintenance of notified safe houses within their respective jurisdictions.

Advocate General Zamir Ghumro informed the court that shelter houses and rescue centres for the victim women had been established at taulka level in Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad and Hyderabad divisions.

Dawn

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