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SHC seeks reports on rape probe, overcrowded jails

SHC seeks reports on rape probe, overcrowded jails

The Sindh High Court sought on Tuesday reports in two separate pleas pertaining to rape investigations and overcrowded jails.

A bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar directed the relevant reform committee to prepare a detailed report, including recommendations for employing modern methods to investigate rape cases.

The members of the committee and police surgeon Dr Samia told the court that investigation officers probing rape cases relied only on DNA testing, ignoring all other important evidence.

Dr Samia claimed that the World Health Organization’s regulations for rape case investigations were not being followed by officials.

“[The rest of the world] did away with the two-finger test 10 years ago but here, many medico-legal officers still practice it,” she said.

At this, the court directed the reform committee to prepare a detailed report, including suggestion for employing modern investigation methods in rape cases. It also directed the Sindh Health Department to cooperate with the committee on the matter and adjourned the hearing until December 10.

Bursting at the seams

Meanwhile, another two-member bench, headed by Justice KK Agha, sought a report from the Sindh and federal government on a plea pertaining to overcrowded jails. The court ordered them to submit the report within six weeks.

According to the plea, 78 per cent of inmates in Central and Malir jails are under trial and most of them are unable to afford lawyers.

At this, the court directed the Sindh and federal government to submit reports containing lists of under-trial prisoners as well as details about offences they were imprisoned for, sentences meted out to them and to what extent the sentences of under-trial prisoners could be commuted.

“Currently, the details of under-trial prisoners in only two jails have been sought and later, the details of those in other prisons will be sought as well,” the court remarked.

Newspaper: The Express Tribune

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