ISLAMABAD - Declaring Vani and Sawara as inhuman customs the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Inspector Generals of Police of all the provinces and Islamabad to make sure that no jirga or punchayat is held in that regard.

The court said that federal and provincial governments through media and civil society should ensure the implementation of laws and the Supreme Court orders passed for the protection of women in the country. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing the HRC case regarding inhuman punishment to a man accused of killing a man in Rajanpur district.

According to media reports, a tribal court (jirga) in Rajanpur had announced a bizarre test for Noor Hassan to prove his innocence on accusation of killing Imtiaz Hussain. On July 6, he was forced to sit in a 10-feet deep crater full of water and he had to sit their alive, until a man walked 60 steps, to prove his innocence.

But Noor could not hold his breath after 52 steps were counted outside the crater and the jirga declared him guilty and announced that the victim would either give three females from his family in marriage to the rival party or pay Rs1 million in compensation. The tribal court decreed Noor would be murdered if he failed in implementing its orders.

The police later arrested the jirga head Mir Hazara and his brother and recovered Noor Hassan from Hajipur area. Rajanpur SDPO informed the Supreme Court that they had arrested nine of the ten accused as only one Rahim Bux was yet to be arrested.

The chief justice praised the police for taking prompt action after the news of inhuman punishment was aired on two private TV channels. The CJP said: “No jirga should be held and if that happens then police will be directly held responsible.” “(Any such) Jirga is against the humanity,” he added. The court on the police report disposed of the case.

Samar Minhallah, a human rights activist, who filed the application regarding the case, said that probably it had happened for the first time that the police arrested the head of a jirga. She stressed the need for civil society, media and police to play their role against inhuman customs of Vani and Sawara.

Judgment reserved

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday reserved the judgment in murder case of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad’s daughter-in-law.

Inspector General Police KPK, SSP Operations Peshawar Imran Shahid, SP Cantt Faisal, ASP University Town Umer Farooq, SHO of the police station concerned Sardar Muhammad and IO Rizwanullah forwarded their defences for not registering the FIR in KPK.

The top cops of KPK are facing the case for not registering FIR of the alleged murder of Waheeda Bibi who was found dead in the house of her brother Khalid in Peshawar on May 19.

The arguments advanced by IG Islamabad Binyamin, SSP Operations Yasin Farooq, SP Sadar Jamil Hashmi, DSP Margalla Rasheed Niazi, SHO Shalimar Sajjad Haider and the investigation officer SI Muhammad Rasheed.

The Islamabad police officials are accused of registering murder case with the Shalimar Police Station on May 25 after six days despite the fact the incident took place in Peshawar.

Additional Advocate General KPK Arshad Shah informed the bench that the provincial government had suspended SSP Operations Peshawar Imran Shahid and the SHO concerned.

He further said that an additional secretary had initiated inquiry to determine the role of these police officers for not registering the case in time.

Appearing in the court, the IG KPK said a murder case had been registered against Darya Khan father of the deceased and Khalid brother of the deceased on the complaint of Zahida Bibi, mother of deceased Waheeda. He said the deceased’s father had obtained bail and her brother Khalid was in the police custody.

Deputy Attorney General DAG Sajid Ilyas Bhatti informed the court that the Islamabad police registered the case without jurisdiction and there was no law allowing registration of the incident that took place in Peshawar.

IGP Islamabad Binyamin in a bid to satisfy the bench said that he did not try to influence the case and broke into tears. He said that he did not know why the mother and sister of his ex-daughter-in-law were skeptical about his role.

“My grand children have lost their mother. I am being accused of meddling with the case. No one in KPK police heard my hue and cry for registering criminal case,” lamented the IG before the bench.

Responding to the question of CJP that what was the occupation of the father of the deceased woman, IG said he did not know, as it was his misfortune that his son got love marriage. “It may be a mere coincident that the deceased is your daughter-in-law. The case got public importance only after it was learnt that top police officers were involved in mishandling the case,” observed the CJP.