Alleged same-sex couple goes into hiding

Lawyer says his clients have been receiving threats

Qaiser Shirazi July 21, 2020


An alleged same-sex couple has disappeared a day before they were due in court to prove that the so-called husband had changed her gender to become a man after an operation.

Their lawyer, however, has claimed that the couple has gone into hiding after receiving death threats.

A single-member bench of the Rawalpindi registry of the Lahore High Court (LHC), comprising Justice Sadaqat Ali Abbasi, will hear the same-sex marriage case on Tuesday (today) in light of a gender test report.

Meanwhile, sources told The Express Tribune that the couple, Ali Akash, who was previously Aasma and her 16-year old student N*, have mysteriously disappeared. Both were supposed to attend the hearing of the case.

Gender test ordered in alleged same-sex marriage

They have also not filed answers sought by the court in the last hearing, while Akash has yet to submit any medical evidence to prove his gender transition, which he had vehemently maintained during initial proceedings of the case.

Further, sources in the Rawalpindi District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital confirmed to The Express Tribune that the police have yet to submit any records in the registry.

When asked, police officials confirmed that they have had no contact with either suspect. They further said that the couple had told them that they are travelling to Lahore on the pretext of obtaining a report from the medical centre where the former underwent a gender reassignment surgery. However, the police have had no contact with the suspects ever since.

Moreover, a lawyer of the petitioner said that the couple did not file the para-wise responses to the questions asked by the court. The girl’s father had filed a petition against the marriage.

The lawyer said that they have approached the court authorities to acquire a copy of the answer sheet. However, they learnt that the defendants have yet to submit it.

Tokyo issues Japan's first same-sex partner certificates​​​​​​​

The counsel of the defendants, however, refuted allegations that his clients had disappeared.

He contended that the couple was facing threats and have had gone into hiding.

When asked whether the alleged same-sex couple will appear before the court in today’s hearing, the lawyer refused to give any comments.

* Name withheld to protect identity

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2020.


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