ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) has taken suo moto of the recently emerged video scandal and the death decree issued to seven persons by the clerics of Kohistan, Geo News reported Monday.
During the hearing of the Asghar Khan case, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry addressed the attorney general and told him about the Registrar’s notice regarding the Kohistan incident.
He instructed the attorney general to find out about the five girls, who were sentenced to death by the local clerics over clapping and singing in a wedding ceremony along with two men, and inform the court.
In his remarks, the CJP said that the court has repeatedly declared that decisions issued by private jirgas (tribal courts) are illegal and unconstitutional.
The court ordered the attorney general to produce the girls on June 6.
Police said Monday that clerics sentenced five women and two men to death after mobile phone footage emerged of them enjoying themselves at a village wedding in the mountains of Kohistan district, 175 kilometres (110 miles) north of the capital Islamabad.
The men and women had allegedly danced and sung together in Gada village, in defiance of strict tribal customs that separate men and women at weddings.
The two men involved in the scandal have also been arrested. According to their brother Muhammed Afzal, the two men voluntarily handed themselves over to the police so they could be protected.
In the initial statement recorded by the two men, they have denied making the video instead claiming that both incidents were different and an enemy of theirs had edited the video to make it one incident.
Conflicting reports about the murder of the accused women on May 30 were also making rounds in the media.
Religious scholars and police in District Kohistan on Saturday termed the video scandal as baseless and said that no death decree was issued in the case.
DSP Palas completed initial investigation and said that both the tribes were unaware of the chaos created by the media. There was neither any evidence of the victims’ confinement nor of any death decree issuance.
District Police Officer (DPO) Kohistan Abdul Majeed Afridi said it appeared to be a case of tribal rivalry and an attempt to defame a family. He said the video was recorded three years ago and then edited in an attempt to implicate the party goers.
He told reporters that the matter about the decree issuance was concocted and was aimed at destroying the peaceful environment in the district.