Rape cases: ‘DNA test not admissible as primary evidence’

Published: September 24, 2013

CII says it’s prerogative of courts to determine its admissibility as ‘supplementary evidence’. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

First, it said that DNA tests are not admissible as evidence in rape cases. Then it went back, and instead blamed the media for ‘irresponsible reporting’. On Monday, however, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) ruled against the admissibility of the DNA test as ‘primary evidence’. Not only that, the council also ruled against death penalty for anyone making false accusation of blasphemy.

The CII, a constitutional body mandated to Islamise the country’s laws, rejected with one voice the Women Protection Act 2006 which had replaced the controversial Hudood Ordinance of Gen Ziaul Haq’s era.

“It [the DNA test] cannot replace the Islamic law requirement of four witnesses to determine rape,” CII Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani, who belongs to the Maulana Fazlur Rehman-led faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, told a news conference on Monday. “The Islamic law requirements as enshrined in the Hudood laws are the only primary evidence in rape cases.”

However, the DNA test is a scientific advancement and cannot be ignored altogether, he said. It’s the court prerogative to determine where the DNA test could be used as ‘supplementary evidence’.

On the blasphemy laws, Maulana Sheerani said the CII agreed there was no need to amend them. Ironically, one of the council members, Allama Tahir Ashrafi, made headlines on Wednesday when he claimed that the CII has reached a consensus on recommending the death sentence for convicted ‘false accusers’ in blasphemy cases.

Maulana Sheerani said punishment for false accusation and false registration of cases are already given in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). “Sections 194 and 211 of the PPC deal with false statement and registration of false cases, respectively. These can be applied to blasphemy cases as well,” he added.

Ruling out death penalty for a false accuser, the CII chairman said the person who makes a false blasphemy accusation against anyone can be tried under 194 PPC and punished accordingly. If enforced properly, this could very well serve as a deterrent, he added.

According to Maulana Sheerani, the CII agreed that many provisions of the Women Protection Act were contrary to the Holy Quran and Sunnah. “For instance, fornication is not a punishable offence under the act while under the Islamic laws it is considered as rape,” he added.

The council has conveyed its recommendations to parliament. “Now, it’s for the legislature to act upon the council’s advice and make necessary amendments,” he added. “We cannot force the legislature.” However, he added that a CII petition was pending in the Federal Shariat Court seeking a direction to the legislature to act upon the council’s advisory quickly.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2013. 

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Reader Comments (46)

  • Muhammad Akbar
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:12AM

    Maolana has said that punishments are there for false accusers. Laws cant be made on whim and desires. The Courts need to check and implement the existing laws to clear the confusion.

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  • raghu
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:47AM

    Fake news.

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  • Usman
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:47AM

    This is absolute non-sense. We are not living 1400 years ago. We have modern science to prove rape cases and it should be used as primary evidence, especially in our society.

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  • Zeeshan Hasan
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:51AM

    so if someone gets raped within four walls and four men are not watching it live then there is no way it can be proved :/ seriously

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  • Salman
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:58AM

    They should be termed barbaric laws and this council should be expunged!

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  • Sep 24, 2013 - 11:30AM

    DNA test is not reliable.

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  • iLiberal
    Sep 24, 2013 - 11:47AM

    Well, so much for saying that Islam is a progressive religion.

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  • Ali
    Sep 24, 2013 - 12:06PM

    If DNA test along with other evidence can help in identifying the criminal then why not? I think we need guidance from fiqah and other Ulema’s from other muslim countries on this topic. Also there is need for scientific orientation of Ulema’s on this subject.

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  • Saleem
    Sep 24, 2013 - 12:06PM

    @Usman:
    You are right. Unfortunately the mullahs with very low IQ are still living in stone age. They have no problem using modern technology to save their own lives and health but not for justice and well being of people. Time to get rid of them.Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)
    Sep 24, 2013 - 12:16PM

    @Usman:

    I can understand your rage….but in ISLAM. 4 witness are NOT REQUIRED TO PROVE A RAPE..its to prove adultery only….THis means if with only one witness/proof rape is proven verdict can be given in an Islamic court….As adultery is btw the partners therefore 4 witnesses are a must…

    As usual Diesel moulvis have no idea wht they are talking about….Its a sad state these fanatics have brought us….Shame on them….

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  • citizen
    Sep 24, 2013 - 12:20PM

    CII cant be serious ! how on earth four people will witness rape and then give shahadh in court ? CII is a shame .

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  • Sep 24, 2013 - 12:35PM

    what a pity, we still looking for guidance to stone age people!

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  • Mohammad
    Sep 24, 2013 - 12:46PM

    Dear Mullahs! which world you are living now a days….. most of the Muslim world accept DNA as the primary evidence against crimes, why you are not allowing us to let us out of 3rd world?

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  • Kamran Khan
    Sep 24, 2013 - 12:52PM

    Loudspeaker was not allowed, printing press was unIslamic, medical college was against Sharia. Perhaps another hundred years for the “maulanas” to term DNA evidence as primary

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  • Ali
    Sep 24, 2013 - 1:02PM

    http://dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/Pakistan/193476-Women-Protection-Act-2006-unacceptable-CII-
    This is completely biasedness et. They are trying to create confusion.
    For actual news go visit the above link.

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  • Raghu
    Sep 24, 2013 - 1:05PM

    @Shah (Berlin):
    you are right. But this article is only showing negative decisions of the committee. Read the actual story at Dunya News.

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  • ASQ
    Sep 24, 2013 - 1:05PM

    keep on living in stone age!!!!!

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  • Citizen Kane
    Sep 24, 2013 - 1:34PM

    This is what happens when you want Islamic laws to govern your 21st century state.

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  • fawad
    Sep 24, 2013 - 1:54PM

    I read this somewhere else. And over there it was written that ‘since DNA cannot confirm a ‘rape’, it can only confirm sex but cannot confirm whether it was done forcefully or with consent so DNA test cannot prove rape’. For me it seemed perfectly logical but we insist on proving that maulana’s are stone age people.

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  • Muhammad Khan
    Sep 24, 2013 - 1:59PM

    This is absolutely non-sense and misinterpreting for what it was intended for. The DNA Test results Islamically lead to a Punishment of Tazeer which is to lash him or either kill him it will be decided by the Judge. However Had can only by executed either by confession or by 4 witnesses. This is what is actually, Denying the DNA test results as an primary evidence doesn’t necessitate that the punishment cannot be entitled to the culprits.

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  • tung
    Sep 24, 2013 - 2:31PM

    And we shoudl listen to these mullahs because?..its high time we as a society separate religion from politics. Have seen enough destruction already

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  • unbelievable
    Sep 24, 2013 - 3:24PM

    And you wonder why foreign businesses don’t trust Pakistan judiciary?

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  • S
    Sep 24, 2013 - 3:24PM

    @Salman: exactly my point! Corroborating evidence is not shahadat of 4 witnesses they would be aiding and abetting if they stood watching which would make them guilty. Such evidence ha to be circumstantial and certainly DNA is a very strong piece of evidence…when will they learn!

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  • Aqeel Ahmed
    Sep 24, 2013 - 4:05PM

    My opnion is more research is require for such cases.CII has to take the opnion from all schools if thoughts who are living in pakistan.

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  • Ali
    Sep 24, 2013 - 4:09PM

    @ Ali

    Thank you for the links. I can’t believe this is how low liberal people can go to create a false impression. These are outright lies.

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  • Sep 24, 2013 - 4:22PM

    What if someone gets your dna (used condom etc) and uses it against you without any other evidence ? If dna would be permissible as primary evidence without any witnesses how will an innocent person prove his case then?Recommend

  • Muddasir
    Sep 24, 2013 - 4:29PM

    What if someone gets hold of your dna (used condom etc ) and uses it against you as primary evidence.How will you prove yourself innocent then? Supporting evidence I understand but just dna as primary evidence for a case.All enlightened 21st century citizens, think about it !

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  • The Dude
    Sep 24, 2013 - 6:39PM

    Why are these backward old primitive fools still relevant? Can’t they just stay in a masjid and keep their holy paws out of legislation?

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  • Indian
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:59PM

    no 4 witnesses no rape. this is why number rape cases are low (rather kept low) in islamic republics. shameless people

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  • unbelievable
    Sep 24, 2013 - 9:44PM

    Using religion to persecute women is unethical – time to join the 21′st century.

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  • aftab
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:05PM

    which institution in Pakistan makes laws and do legislation; A body of non-elected people – Council of Islamic Ideology or a body elected by people of Pakistan parliament ?

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  • Gp65
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:09AM

    @Ali:
    I read your link and it says nothing different from what this article says. It says that DNA can be used as evidence but not as primary evidence. It also says that Hudood act is fine. Hudood act asks for evidence from 4 Muslim men.Recommend

  • Sarmad J
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:22AM

    Will someone please tell them that Allah created DNA too. Recommend

  • manish rohera
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:48AM

    @Muddasir:
    Are you crazy?seriously guy do you know forensics,modern science and that blah blah that a madarssa didn’t teach and if you went to a proper school please guys it should be closed i thought India was pathetic but after this thank god i live in India guys reading all the news on this website this week is the worst one for you terrorist attacks,earthquake and now this.god bless you all.

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  • Nomaan
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:58AM

    Its important to understand the 4 witnesses are required in case of adultery and NOT in cases of rape.

    Common sense can reject the impracticality of 4 witnesses being required in case of rape. May Allah TAllah enlighten these maulvis to understand and not disgrace Islam with their interpretation.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Sep 25, 2013 - 3:16AM

    @Ali:
    Would ALL PLEASE NOTICE how @Ali replied to his own comment above to support his own comment!!!

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  • Observer
    Sep 25, 2013 - 6:34AM

    @Usman:

    “This is absolute non-sense. We are not living 1400 years ago. We have modern science to prove rape cases and it should be used as primary evidence, especially in our society.

    I guess you are not aware that Pakistan is an Islamic state and its constitution stipulates that Islamic practices and laws must be followed. Islamic laws don’t recognize DNA evidence in case of rape. You need four pious Muslim male witnesses to prove that a person was raped. If you are against this law, then you are committing blasphemy.

    etblogs2013

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  • HUM
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:56PM

    @Muddasir:
    You do understand that we have been using finger prints in criminal cases for quiet some time. The DNA tests does consider the possibilities and then there is the court hearing as well, where defendant can defend oneself.
    Please leave the law and science to people who actually practice it and understand it.

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  • AJ
    Sep 25, 2013 - 6:45PM

    So In order to prove rape, woman must produce 4 male Muslim witnesses of good character. This is utter non-sense. So in a hypothetical case, where a woman is able to produce such 4 witnesses, I am sure those 4 adult Muslim men will not of good character because if they had any decency, they would stop the rape in the first place.

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  • Anwer Chughtai
    Sep 26, 2013 - 9:06AM

    @iLiberal:

    Islam is indeed a progressive religion. It is the so called narrators and elaborates of our religion who themselves are the culprits. They do not want to accept any modernization because it is a direct threat to their authority.

    This mind set is not only limited to the Islamic preachers, the preachers of many other religions are also of the same mindset. It is just that they no longer enjoy the same authority over masses as the so called Islamic scholars do on Muslims.

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  • Zaida P
    Sep 26, 2013 - 9:11AM

    Got raped? Where are the 3 witnesses? No witnesses? Case dismissed !
    (Complainant goes to jail and is charged with blasphemy)

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  • Jamroz Khan
    Nov 7, 2013 - 4:45PM

    @Usman: please elaborate how can be a case defined as rape just on basis of DNA test? if its positive will it also tell u weather it was by force or by will? i dont know wats up with people so blind in hate for religious laws… always speaking of logic but when a religon gives logic they themselves become illogical

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  • Jamroz Khan
    Nov 7, 2013 - 4:47PM

    @Zaida P: Had sex with bf… break up … girl angry.. goes to court .. files rape case … DNA test positive… Boy hanged.. girl happy.. case dismissed! how does that sound.. please if u find a little logic in something dont ignore it simply because the person who said this had a beard.

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  • Nobody
    Nov 11, 2013 - 3:45PM

    @Observer:
    Yes and it’s evident for all to see just how well Pakistan is doing following so called Islamic laws. How would DNA be recognized when there was no such concept 1400+ years ago?
    Of course there’s no mention of it when DNA extraction did not exist. I’m sick of people using this tunnel vision version of Islam to stop progress. Allah never said Muslims are not to progress with the times; an educated mind understands that. Recommend

  • Nobody
    Nov 11, 2013 - 3:52PM

    @Jamroz Khan:
    Rape doesn’t always look just like sex you know. Your comment makes you look ignorant, nothing more. There are many other indications of rape that look quite different from consensual sex. Do you really not know that? I can’t believe there are still people (usually guys, go figure) arguing that “innocent” guys might get the noose so it’s best NOT to use DNA. How about arguing how many rapists are roaming free in Pakistan because there is almost NO concept of rapists actually getting caught, and when they DO get caught, they’re released thanks to the ridiculous pre-historic Hudood Ordinance. You can argue in support of making rape convictions HARDER, but you can’t argue in favor of the countless victims who never receive justice?
    Shame on you. You are what’s wrong with Pakistan. Recommend

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