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March 15, 2019

Ghag’ case accused granted bail after apology in PHC

Peshawar

March 15, 2019

PESHAWAR: Another “Ghag” case surfaced in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in which an aged man has laid claim to a student of MPhil from the Karak district.

Ghag is a customary practice in which a man lays claim to a girl for marriage and ensures that the girl cannot receive a marriage

proposal from any other man.

Fatmat-uz Zuhra, an MPhil scholar, lodged First Information Report against an accused, Javed Iqbal Khattak, under sections 3 and 4 of the Ghag Act 2013 and Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Peshawar University Campus police station.

In the FIR, the girl claimed that the accused first crossed her path when she was going to the hostel after taking classes at the university. She claimed that he knew her.

Similarly, she claimed, the man obstructed her way several times and tried to talk to her forcibly with a warning that he would get her Nikah with her fiancé cancelled and used the word of Ghag on her.

In the report, the girl claimed that the accused person also threatened her in-laws and resultantly, they annulled her Nikah with her fiancé Mazullah.

The girl, in the FIR, sought protection against the accused person as she claimed that he was hurling threats at her even in the university to either marry him or else face the consequences.

The accused person then obtained his pre-arrest bail and later on he was arrested by the police in 2017 after the court cancelled his pre-arrest bail petition. The accused then filed a bail application in the Peshawar High Court.

On Thursday, a single bench of the Peshawar High Court headed by Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan granted bail to the accused after he tendered an apology saying he would never disturb the girl again or keep contact with her through message or phone.

The bench granted bail to the accused on the condition that he would be rearrested if he established any contact with the girl or her family members directly or indirectly and caused any harm to them.

The bail was granted after counsel for the petitioner produced an agreement between the parties for patching the things up.

Justice Qaiser Rashid also told the brother of the accused that he would also be held responsible for any criminal act of the accused against the respondent family.

The accused stated before the court that he would withdraw his suit of Rs4 million filed against the complainant girl from the court of the civil judge as he claimed that the girl had taken Rs4 million from him from time to time and then refused to marry him.

Under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elimination of Custom of Ghag Act 2013, whoever used Ghag to ask for a girl’s hand in marriage would be punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than three years, which may also be extended to seven years, and a fine of Rs0.5 million.

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