KARACHI: Gang-rape victim, Kainat Soomro, who had lost her legal battle for justice, won her case for compensation at the Sindh High Court on Thursday.
Kainat Soomro was kidnapped in January 2007 from her home town in Dadu district. Four men kept the 13-year old Kainat in their custody for four days and subjected her to sexual assault. She managed, however, to escape.
The tribal elders instead declared her a ‘kari’ but Kainat’s family refused to abide by the elders’ decision to murder her in the name of kari. They lodged an FIR against four men – Shaban Sheikh, Kaleemullah Lashari, Ahsan Thebo and Roshan Ali Thebo – at Mehr police station in Dadu.
In May 2010, Kainat lost her three-year-long legal battle when a sessions court acquitted all the accused, giving them the benefit of doubt. Soon after the sessions court’s decision, her brother, who was helping her during the case, was killed by unknown assailants.
As the case was taken up by the national and international media, the Sindh Chief Minister in August 2010 announced to give Rs500,000 compensation to her. The full payment was, however, never made. So, Kainat took the government authorities to the Sindh High Court for another legal battle.
In her petition, Kainat said that justice was not provided to her as the accused were set free. “During the course of seeking justice, I also lost my brother. After his death, there is no one to attend to me,” she said.
Her lawyer, Faisal Siddiqui, said the chief minister had ordered the payment of Rs500,000 as compensation, but the finance department had paid only Rs300,000.
In her petition, she pleaded to the court to direct the finance secretary to ensure disbursement of the remaining amount to her at the earliest.
On October 25, the Sindh High Court had directed the government to consider the victim’s plea for payment of compensation on “humanitarian grounds”.
When a division bench took up the matter on Thursday, a provincial law officer informed that the government was ready to pay the remaining amount to the petitioner.
The bench, headed by Justice Maqbool Baqir, directed the law officer to ensure payment was made within 80 days, as per the undertaking given by him.
The bench also disposed of the petition, as the petitioner’s lawyer expressed his satisfaction over the provincial law officer’s statement.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2012.