Police challan says Zahra married Zaheer of her free will

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Police in Karachi submitted challan in the Dua Zahra case in the court of Judicial Magistrate-East on Thursday.

Quoting Dua, the challan said that she had gone to Punjab to marry Zaheer of her free will. It was further told that the charge of kidnapping against her husband could not be proved; therefore, the Sindh Child Marriage Act did not apply in her case.

“Dua’s ‘Nikah’ was solemnized in Lahore,” read the challan. Citing the girl’s medical report, the challan said her age was 16 to 17 years. It was also informed that two persons, arrested in connection with the case namely Asghar and Ghulam Mustafa, had been found innocent.

Eight days back, on June 8, 2022, the Sindh High Court had disposed of the case of Dua Zahra’s parents, ordering the authorities to produce the girl before the Lahore High Court (LHC) which was also hearing a case filed by Dua’s in-laws.

In its written verdict, the Sindh High Court allowed Dua to make a decision as per her free will, adding she can live with whom she chooses.

However, the court after observing progress in the case against Dua’s husband directed the police to submit a challan against Zaheer in the court.

In its three-page order, Justice Junaid Ghaffar said the court had arrived at the conclusion in line with the testimonies. “In the light of all the evidence, this is not a case of kidnapping. The alleged/minor Dua Zahra Kazmi, pursuant to her statement on Oath and Age Certificate, is set at liberty to decide as with whom she intends to reside and go along,” the order read.

In the order, the court also said that it has decided to dispose of Zehra’s father’s — Mehdi Ali Kazmi — petition for her recovery as the case of his daughter was not of kidnapping.

Dua Zahra, who had gone missing from Karachi, fled to Punjab and contracted her Nikah with Zaheer Ahmad in April, 2022.

However, Karachi police, in collaboration with the Punjab police, recovered her in an action in Chishtian, Bahawalnagar and took the girl and her husband in their protective custody.

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