ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the federal and Punjab governments to take strict action against the Punjab police chief and his subordinate staff for negligence of duty and failure to take prompt action against culprits involved in the murder of a mother of five children on the order of a landlord in Khanewal.
The court directed the federal and provincial governments to ensure prompt action against the Punjab police chief along with his subordinate staff and submit the compliance report within three days with the registrar’s office.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard a suo moto case regarding the stoning of a woman in Khanewal on the orders of a punchayat.
In compliance with the court’s earlier order, the Punjab police chief presented a report pertaining to the murder of Maryam Bibi, mother of five children who was killed on the farm of a landlord in Khanewal for her alleged refusal to have illicit relations with the landlord.
IGP Punjab Haji Habib-ur-Rehman along with DPO Khanewal appeared before the court and submitted that the cause of the woman’s death was strangulation and that her husband killed her. They also said that the forensic report had been received.
The chief justice, however, noted that the morgue and post-mortem reports revealed different facts. He told the IGP that his job did not entail providing security protocol. He observed that a woman had been stoned to death, her husband had been picked up and when the court took notice, the husband was found within ten minutes sleeping next to a lake. “No one from the investigation officer to the IG is worthy of staying in his position,” he remarked.
The chief justice further said that he would like to see how the prime minister would not act against the IG police. He said that the statement of Sarfaraz, the spouse of deceased Maryam, was on July 20 changed while his statement recorded before the magistrate was also incorrect
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja noted that if the statement of the police was accepted as accurate, it meant the investigation officer had already contacted the bereaved family. The chief justice observed that if the police was considering the new report accurate, then they should prove the earlier reports wrong. He further observed that giving wrong statements before the court was a severe crime.
Expressing concern over the poor investigation and lack of professional abilities of concerned police officials in the instant case, the court observed that the officials who failed to protect the lives and property of people had no right to be deputed on important constitutional posts. It further observed that if the people rendered their professional obligation with sincerity and full commitment, there would be not even 10 percent of the crimes in the province.