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Stoning of woman: SC directs govt to take police babus to task

24 July, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: While disposing of suo motu case on stoning of a woman to death in Khanewal, the Supreme Court ordered the federal and Punjab governments to take action against police officials, including the Punjab inspector general (IG) and the Multan RPO within three days.

It said these officers did not deserve to occupy such high and responsible posts and they did not understand the seriousness of the crime, as it was their duty to protect the life and property of citizens.

"We were expecting both the governments would take the matter seriously," the court said, adding that in fact it was the duty of the executive to observe officials failing to comply the obligations under the constitution. The court noted that in Sarfaraz Shah case, in light of the court's directions, the Sindh IG and the Rangers' director general were transferred in 2011.

The court also observed that if both governments had failed in taking action against police officers it would pass an order in this regard. It also ordered the Punjab Police to probe the matter fairly. The police officials were ordered to provide full security to the heirs of Maryam Bibi.

A three-member bench of the apex court, comprising of Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, was hearing the case related to stoning Maryam to death on the orders of a local council in Khanewal district.

The CJP hoped that the PM would act against the Punjab Police officials.

During the hearing, Khanewal DPO Waqar Abbasi submitted a report regarding the woman's murder. According to the report, Sarfaraz had confessed that he had murdered his wife Maryam when she did not agree with him that Rajas, influential people of the area, were good people.

The police officers also produced a medical report and said that the woman was stranguled. They also said that a forensic report had also been received.

The court, however, rejected the report and said that the Punjab police was favouring the opponent party in this case as its previous investigation record was not matching the recent report.

"The Punjab IG has done nothing in [this] case and ultimately he is responsible for this incident," the CJP said.

Khanewal DPO Waqar said that Sarfaraz Ahmed, Maryam's husband, also sustained head injury, which showed that the woman hit him. Justice Khawaja said the injury was not 'fresh'.

Deputy Attorney General Shafi Muhammad Chandio suggested the court to take action in view of Sarfaraz Shah case. The CJP asked him to tell prime minister about the poor condition of five kids of Maryam Bibi. He said that country's reputation was damaged internationally due to this incident.

Siddique, father of Sarfaraz Ahmed, appeared before the bench, along with other family members and the children of the deceased, and said that his son.

End.

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