A three-member bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain was hearing the case of stoning to death of Maryam Bibi on the orders of a village council in Khanewal district.
During the hearing, Khanewal DPO Waqar Abbasi submitted a report stating that Maryam’s husband Sarfraz had confessed to killing her wife because she did not agree with him that Rajas, influential people of the area, were good people. The police officers also produced a medical report stating that the woman was strangulated. The police also said they had received the forensic report.
Siddique, father of Sarfraz Ahmed, appeared before the bench along with other family members and the children of the deceased. The grief-ridden father informed the court that his son was innocent and police had falsely implicated him in this case. He also said there was no clash between his son and his wife.
The court rejected the police report saying that police was favouring the other party as its previous investigation record did not match the fresh report. DPO Waqar also said that Sarfraz Ahmed also sustained injury on his head, which showed that he was hit by his deceased wife. Upon this, Justice Jawwad said that the wound mark on Sarfraz head was not fresh.
“Punjab IGP has done nothing in this case and ultimately he is responsible for this incident,” the chief justice said. He told the IGP that his job did not entail providing security protocol, adding that a woman had been stoned to death, her husband had been picked up; and when the court took notice, the police found the missing husband within minutes, saying he was found sleeping on a canal bank. “No one from the investigation officer to the IGP is worthy of staying at their posts,” he remarked.
Deputy Attorney General Shafi Muhammad Chandio suggested the court to take action like it did in Sarfraz 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. The chief justice hoped that the prime minister would act against the negligent and corrupt police officers.
The court said these officers did not deserve to occupy such high and responsible posts; they did not understand the seriousness of the crime and that it was their duty to protect the lives of citizens. The court noted that in Sarfraz Shah case, wherein some rangers’ personnel had killed a youth in broad day light in Karachi in 2011, Sindh IGP and Rangers DG were transferred on the court direction.
“We were expecting both the (federal and Punjab) governments would take the matter seriously,” the court observed, adding that it was the duty of the executive to see officials failing to comply with their obligation. The court also observed that if both the governments failed in taking action against these police officers, it would pass an order in this regard.
It also ordered Punjab police to ensure that those who would take over from the present investigative team would probe the matter fairly. The police officials were also directed to provide full security to the family Maryam Bibi.
Maryam Bibi, 25, mother of five, was reportedly killed for cutting grass grown on land belonging to a landlord, Raja Mehbub, in Khanewal. As per reports, the landlord had tried to sexually harass the woman, but she refused to accept his demands. Consequently, he sent his men to the woman’s house, where they killed her by hitting her on the head with stones. The landlord then abducted her husband. Police had registered a case against nine men for the murder.
Court tells govt to punish police bosses