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Vani case: lacunae hit law

MULTAN, Dec 18: The police could not take any action against the family of two sisters and the panchayat (jury) that declared the girls ‘vani’ because of legal loopholes as ‘rukhsati’ of the elder sister was performed on Thursday night at Basti Bughlami in Taunsa Sharif tehsil.

Earlier, the couple was produced before a judicial magistrate at Taunsa Sharif where their statements were recorded.

Denying the involvement of money in settling the dispute between the two families, the couple told reporters that their marriage was decided with the consent of their families.

They also denied that the element of ‘vani’ was involved in their case. However, they admitted that their union was the outcome of wata sata (exchange marriage) custom.

The ‘rukhsati’ ceremony of Samina, 13, was attended by locals while feast was arranged for participants by their hosts. The marriage was held according to the local custom.

Taunsa DSP Asad Aliani said that the mother and the brother of Samina told police that wata sata was the part of their custom.

He said that bride’s brother Iqbal told police that neither the marriage of his sister was being held under the decision of the jury nor his sisters were declared ‘vani’.

He said according to the marriage form the age of his sister was 17 years while the groom was also adult.

Iqbal further said that the age of his second sister, Lali, was 11 and not seven as being propagated and that she was not married.
Source: Dawn
Date:12/19/2008

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