Friday May 24, 2024

Panel formed to check Dua’s age as plea to replace IO filed

By Yousuf Katpar
June 29, 2022

The Sindh health department has constituted a special medical board to ascertain the age of Dua Zehra, a teenage girl who had gone missing from her Karachi residence in April and was later found to have married a man in Lahore.

The board was formed on a plea of Zehra’s father Mehdi Ali Kazmi. A District East judicial magistrate had last week directed the provincial health secretary to decide within seven days the application filed by Kazmi calling for a medical board to be constituted to determine his daughter’s age as he insisted that she was a minor.

According to a notification, a copy of which is available with The News, Professor Saba Sohail, principal of the Dow Medical College, Karachi, has been appointed as the head of the panel that also comprises Dr Sikandar Rafique Qureshi, head of the Radiology Department at Lyari General Hospital, Dr Rani, consultant radiologist, and seven other medial experts as its members.

The first meeting of the board will take place at Services Hospital on Wednesday (today) at 12:30pm. On Saturday, Judicial Magistrate-XXIV Aftab Ahmed Bughio had ordered further investigation into the Dua Zehra case to determine the age of the girl in order to find out if she was mature enough to exercise free will and elope. He said the age of the girl needed to be determined to ascertain if she was enticed to leave the house of her parents or she eloped on her own and in the latter case, if she was old enough to take that decision.

Plea to change IO

Zehra’s father, who is also the complainant of the abduction and underage marriage FIR, on Tuesday filed an application before the District and Sessions Judge (East) seeking the removal of the investigation officer of the case and appointment of a new one.

Kazmi through his lawyer Jibran Nasir moved the plea alleging that the incumbent IO was incompetent and appeared to be biased. He said that he had no confidence in the officer and pleaded with the court to order the authorities concerned to replace him with a competent officer to carry out the investigation.