Additional District and Sessions Judge Hamid Hussain on Thursday directed the capital city police officer (CCPO) to register a case against a sub-inspector for throwing a man in illegal detention and handing his wife over to her mother, even after she had testified that she had married him by choice.
Bakhtawar Bibi and her husband Mudassar Hussain went to Sabzazar police station on Wednesday to record her statement under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code. SI Khalil Ahmed had called them in connection with a kidnapping case registered on the complaint of Bakhtawar’s mother.
The court later sent bailiff Tajammul Hussain to recover the couple. He confirmed that Mudassar Hussain was in detention at the police station. When he asked the officials about Bakhtawar, they replied that she was also there. She appeared before the bailiff with her parents soon after. The bailiff said that the SI had admitted that the couple had not been wanted in any case but had been called in only for questioning. However, their arrival was not registered in the roznamcha (daily diary).
The SI said that Bakhtawar had told a DSP that she had not married Mudassar by choice, after which the DSP had directed him to hand her over to her mother.
Advocate M Asif Chattha, representing the couple, accused the SI of concealing the facts. He said the couple had upon reaching the police station made clear that they were there to record their statement that Bakhtawar had chosen of her own free will to marry Mudassar.
Mudassar told the court that he had been beaten up in detention. He said that Bakhtawar’s statement to the DSP had been coerced by her parents and the SI. He said they had both testified before a judicial magistrate that their wedding was legitimate.
The SI admitted that Bakhtawar had initially said that she married Mudassar by choice and had produced a copy of the nikah nama.
After hearing the arguments, the judge directed the CCPO to get a case registered against the sub inspector for showing negligence in the matter. The judge noted in his order that the Lahore High Court, hearing a petition from Bakhtawar’s mother for her recovery, had directed the SI to do all he could to find her. However, instead of producing them in the court when the couple turned up at the police station, he had thrown them in illegal detention.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2012.