Thursday March 30, 2023

Dua Zahra’ father withdraws petition against SHC’s ruling

Mehdi Kazmi’s lawyer says they will approach the medical board to ascertain the age of Dua Zahra

June 23, 2022
Mehdi Kazmi (L) and Dua Zahra. — PPI/Screengrab from an interview
Mehdi Kazmi (L) and Dua Zahra. — PPI/Screengrab from an interview

ISLAMABAD: Dua Zahra’s father, Mehdi Kazmi, on Thursday, withdrew a petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Sindh High Court (SHC's) decision that allowed his daughter — who had mysteriously gone missing from Karachi in April but later declared that she had run away from her home to marry 21-year-old Zaheer Ahmed — to decide where she wants to go, with her parents or husband.

As per the details, the SC wrapped up the case after Mehdi Kazmi’s lawyer pleaded with the court that his client wanted to withdraw his petition.

On June 18, Mehdi Kazmi moved the SC against the SHC ruling that allowed his daughter to decide her fate. In his petition, Kazmi pleaded to the SC for an immediate hearing of the case and called the SHC's decision faulty.

The petition also stated: "The medical records revealed Dua's age to be 17. According to National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and academic documents, she is 14 years old."

At the outset of today’s hearing, the apex court asked if a meeting had been arranged between Dua Zahra and her parents.

Mehdi Kazmi’s counsel apprised the top court that her parents were allowed to meet Zahra for just 5 minutes in the presence of police in the judge’s chamber.

Supreme Court Justice Sajjad Ali Shah remarked that a medical board was established on the court’s order to perform a medical check-up of the girl.

Justice Munib Akhtar asked Kazmi if he had pleaded with the court to recover her daughter or had he challenged her ossification test.

At this, Kazmi’s counsel replied that they had written a letter to the health secretary in this regard. He said that the police cancelled the kidnapping case under “C” class.

After hearing the petitioner’s arguments, the top court reserved its verdict. Justice Sajjad Ali Shah remarked that they decide the case today on your request. During the break, the lawyers were told that the court will resume hearing shortly.

During the course of proceedings, Mehdi Kazmi withdrew his petition and the case was wrapped up.

‘Will challenge Dua Zahra’s ossification test’

Talking to journalists outside the SC Karachi Registry, Kazmi’s counsel said that they will challenge the ossification test carried out on Dua Zahra to ascertain her age.

He maintained that they would approach the health secretary to form a medical board to ascertain the actual age of Dua Zahra. 

The lawyer said they would move the SHC if the health secretary does not accept their request. Dua Zahra was compelled to tell a lie, he added.