ISLAMABAD – A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court of Pakistan praying a judicial inquiry into the tragic incident of the Motorway gang-rape.
Two lawyers Mehraj Tareen and Shaista Tabussum Sultanpur filed the petition and requested the court for a judicial inquiry into the incident through a commission to be headed by a sitting judge of the apex court. The petition also requested the court to order that the CCPO of Lahore is unfit to hold any such post in the Police Department.
The petitioners moved the petition through their counsel Advocate Jehangir Khan Jadoon and prayed to the Supreme Court to order the interior secretary, Inspector General (IG) of Punjab police, IG of Motorway Police Islamabad and CCPO of Lahore to probe the incident effectively.
In their petition, they regretted that Pakistan was among the 10 worst countries when it comes to rape incidents as around 14,850 cases of kidnapping involving women, children and girls had been reported in Punjab during the last one year.
It added that similarly, around 10,000 rape cases were reported in Punjab from January 2014 to June 2017. The petition added that police failure to protect the people had raised serious questions about the failure of state institutions.
It also requested the court to fix responsibility for the gang-rape incident due to the inaction of the respondents and provide the victim and other women at risk security and protection as per mandate of the Constitution and law.
Similarly, another lawyer, Mariam Farid Khawaja, wrote a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed requesting him to initiate suo motu proceedings to fix responsibility for failing to protect the victim and her two children.
Khawaja deplored in her letter that the incident on the Sialkot-Lahore Motorway showed abysmal attitude of police as Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) of Lahore Mohammad Umar Sheikh made shocking remarks in which he alleged that the victim’s behaviour had led to the incident.
She stated that the remarks of the CCPO had shaken the nation and women in particular felt threatened and unsafe in Pakistan. The letter said that the incident reflected the unsafe environment in which women had to live and work.
She said that the law enforcement agencies, which were tasked with curbing crime and nabbing criminals, were bent upon creating a more threatened society by passing demeaning and derogatory remarks. The letter added that the incident and the subsequent behaviour of police high-ups highlighted the plight of women in Pakistan.
The letter requested the Chief Justice to enforce fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan embodied in Articles 4, 5, 9, 14 and 25 of the Constitution through suo motu proceedings in the case and an inquiry into negligence of the police authorities, specifically the Motorway Police.
It continued that the suo motu proceedings should fix responsibility on and liability of persons, including government officials, for failing to protect the victim and her children and failing to ensure that due precautions were taken against criminal activity in the area where the incident took place, the letter said.