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SHC orders removal of girl’s medical history in underage marriage case from digital platforms

By Our Correspondent
November 05, 2022

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general (DG) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) chairman to remove from the digital platforms all the material with regard to the medical history of a girl involved in a child marriage case.

The direction came on an application filed by parents of a girl seeking removal of material with regard to medical reports and other connected information of their daughter on digital platforms.

Their counsel submitted that the high court had earlier ordered reconstitution of a committee of doctors comprising both psychiatric and psychologist especially dealing with juveniles to make frequent meetings with the girl in the underage marriage case and submit a report with regard to the status of the girl along with recommendations.

He submitted that the reports of doctors had been flashed on print and electronic media, which was contrary to the provisions of the law as the name of the girl with parentage as well as other facts could not be flashed on the media. He expressed apprehension that such practice could be repeated and requested the high court to direct the PTA and FIA to remove such material from social media platforms.

A single bench of the high court headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar directed the FIA DG and PTA chairman to remove all the material with regard to the girl from the media, including social media platforms, within two days. The SHC observed that the medical reports of the girl shall not be flashed on the print, electronic and digital media.

Zaheer Ahmed and others were booked by the police for kidnaping the underage girl from Karachi. According to the police, Zaheer kidnapped her from the Al-Falah Colony area of Karachi with abetment of other co-accused and married her in Lahore.

Ahmed submitted in his application that he was booked by the police along with other family members in a child marriage and kidnapping case despite the fact that the star witness of the case had categorically stated on oath that she was not kidnapped and had married of her own free will.