Pak Court Keeps Adjourning Rape Case, Seven-year-old Victim’s Mother Dismayed

by Gopalan on Jul 27 2008 7:51 PM

A court in Pakistan keeps adjourning a case of rape of a seven-year-old girl. The mother is dismayed. She is so poor she can’t find money even for commuting to attend hearings, while an emboldened culprit is intimidating her.

In desperation, Nusrat Bibi, the mother has appealed to the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court Sayed Zahid Hussain for speedy justice.

On Saturday, additional and sessions Judge Ferozewala Qamar Ijaz adjourned the case to Aug.2 without citing any reason. He had adjourned the case the same way during a previous hearing too.

It was on March 11, Zubair allegedly raped Tayyaba with the abetment of three others in Sidhanwali, a village of Ferozewala, leaving her in critical condition.

Talking to the reporters, Nusrat said she had brought her sick daughter to the court, hoping the girl’s statement would be recorded at least this time. The mother and daughter duo had arrived as early as 8 A.M. and waited patiently till afternoon. But all that happened was adjournment.

She was too poor even to afford breakfast at the hotel where they had been put up for the day by some well-wisher.

How long she could pursue the case, she wasn’t sure, she said and added that the accused were pressuring her to withdraw the complaint.

Already she has been displaced once by the accused who are well connected.

Her only satisfaction is that her statement was recorded in a previous session. Also  Doctor Nadia Rasheed, who attended on the girl, has deposed, confirming that Tayyaba was in a critical condition when she was brought to the hospital.

Also a couple of police officials have been placed under suspension for seeking to shield Zubair by avoiding his name in the all important First Information Report (FIR). And a case has been registered against them.

Besides Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif has sanctioned Rs 50,000 towards the treatment of the girl. But beyond those small steps, nothing much seems to have happened.

Tayyaba’s counsel Muhammad Irfan Mukhtar called upon the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court to take suo motu notice of the girl’s case and order speedy trial.