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Mai case: need to revamp judicial system

THE Supreme Court rejected Mukhtar Mai’s appeal against the acquittal of those involved in her rape nine years ago. All except one of the accused in the Mukhtar Mai case have been exonerated, which speaks volumes of our deteriorating justice system and faulty police investigations.

This decision has raised many questions. The apex court has made the faulty processing and investigations conducted by the police as the basis of acquittal of the accused wherein the poor victim had no role except for narrating the incident and facts.

As a matter of routine, hardcore criminals always take undue advantage of the benefit of doubt to escape from punishment. This judgment is also a result of police investigations conducted in an unprofessional manner.

The Mukhtar Mai case, being high-profile in nature, was also a test case for our judicial system. These kinds of judgments are a source of strength and encouragement for criminals.

As usual nobody at the helm of affairs would turn up to change this system and, therefore, such state of affairs are not likely to improve.

As a matter of fact, criminal elements are emboldened by such decisions. The police will continue to submit deficient and mala fide charge-sheets to the court due to their inefficiency and corruption. As a result, courts will keep exonerating criminals because of lack of evidence.

The irony is that at the end of the day nobody would be held accountable. Disappointment of the common man in our country is at its highest peak as it is almost impossible to get justice in our country.
The sense of insecurity also leads to the conclusion that these institutions which are supposed to provide justice cannot help any common man. It is high time the judicial system was revamped.



JUNE 22, 2002, was a black day when a village council or a panchayat unanimously issued an order to rape Mukhtar Mai to compensate her brother’s alleged illicit relations with a girl. The victimised family appealed for justice and demanded punishment for the involved persons in the gang rape.

The decision has caused consternation among people not only in Pakistan but around the globe. The Human Rights Watch says the verdict “reflects poorly on the Supreme Court and underscores the reality that Pakistan’s judiciary is now independent, it retains deeply embedded bias against women in particular and on rights issues in general.”

The decision is surprising, although it had already been predicted by many. If this is the situation of a high-profile and reported case, then what about those incidents which do not get attention of the media or human rights organisations? It is a big question which should be raised.

It is shocking and disappointing for the marginalised section of our society which already suffers from socio-cultural problems. Women are discriminated and oppressed in many spheres of life. They are deprived even of basic rights such as education, health and food.

A number of women are murdered in the name so-called honour. This trend needs to be eliminated from our society.


Source: Dawn