LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has reverted the cases related to the Kasur child abuse scandal to the anti-terrorism court (ATC) on the request of the Punjab government.
In one of the worst cases of paedophilia reported in Pakistan, dozens of children were filmed being sexually abused by a gang of 25 men, who later used the videos to blackmail the youngsters’ parents.
Police had booked the suspects under sections of the anti-terrorism act but the ATC ordered dropping these charges. After the ATC dropped the terrorism clauses, the cases were transferred to the court of additional district and sessions judge after the witnesses turned hostile. But the Punjab government filed writ petitions in the LHC to send back all relevant cases to the ATC.
On Tuesday, an LHC division bench headed by Justice Abdu Sami directed the ATC to hear the cases under terrorism clauses.
Deputy Prosecutor General Khurram Khan submitted the child abuse case had brought a bad name to the country and terrified people across the province. He requested the court to send back all cases to the ATC for re-hearing.
The discovery of the paedophile ring last year shocked Pakistan and led to a rare sanctioning of police officers for negligence after dozens of families came forward to say their children had been abused and then blackmailed by members of a wealthy family. Two accused Haseem Amir and Faizan Majeed have already been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2016.
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