Kainat Soomro gang rape case: Child marriage not illegal, argues defence counsel -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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Kainat Soomro gang rape case: Child marriage not illegal, argues defence counsel

KARACHI: Defence counsel of the accused in Kainat Soomro gang rape case, advocate Waqar Shah, has claimed that child marriage is neither illegal nor invalid, as legislators cannot alter the definition of ‘adult’ in the Women Protection Bill 2008.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (South) Fahim Ahmad Siddiqui was hearing the final arguments of four alleged accused in Kainat Soomro rape case, Shaban Sheikh, Kaleemullah Lashari, Ahsan Thebo and Roshan Ali Thebo.

The counsel claimed that legislators, including the legislative institutions have not declared ‘child marriage’ as invalid but are concerned over the issue. Adding that it was impossible to pronounce it invalid because 75 percent of the families in the country would be affected. He stated that the prosecution during the course of investigation has proved Ahsan married the complainant Kainat Soomro by producing the Nikahnama including photographs. He said the complainant’s claim that Shaban had dropped something upon her that made her unconscious was invalid because the prosecution could not produce any such evidence or even a part of school dress, book, copy or any other material.

The counsel added that the complainant did not challenge the Nikahnama and the thumb impressions, which were taken in the court, had matched with the ones in the Nikahnama. Advocate Shah could not conclude his arguments due to shortage of time and would continue his arguments today (Thursday). asghar azad
Source: Daily Times
Date:3/18/2010