Pak CJ sets 15-day deadline for report on Swat teen flogging

April 6th, 2009 - 7:35 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Islamabad, Apr.6 (ANI): The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, has set a 15-day deadline for government officials to submit a detailed report on the public flogging of a 17-year-old girl in the Swat Valley.

Chief Justice Chaudhry issued the directive as eight judges opened a hearing into the Taliban whipping case.

“Government and regional officials from North West Frontier Province (NWFP) should ’submit report on a fortnightly basis to the registrar of this court,” Chaudhry said in his order, which was written in English.

“The matter requires a detailed probe to locate the place of incident, the application of law for those involved and if sentence of flogging was awarded lawfully or unlawfully,” he added.

The footage shows two men pinning the girl down while a bearded man in a turban flogged her 34 times with a whip.

Government officials, whom Chaudhry had ordered to bring the girl before court Monday, instead submitted a written statement saying that the girl and her husband had denied being flogged.

The woman, Chand Bibi, expressed her unwillingness to appear before court in the presence of media.

The details of her alleged crime were confused, but residents of KalaKilley village in the Swat valley said the woman was accused of illicit relations with an electrician and forced to marry him.

‘Possibility cannot be ruled out that a fake TV material or a video had been prepared with an ulterior motive to malign the people of Swat,’ said Chaudhry.

‘If there is any unlawful order, or provisions of constitution dealing with dignity of human beings are violated, action is required to be taken,’ he said.

The judges in court Monday strongly criticized government officials for dealing with ‘deteriorating’ law and order.

‘We are not satisfied by your job of sitting in offices and making statements,’ the Dawn quoted the chief justice, as saying.

Local government officials and residents said the video was filmed on January 3, some weeks before the government signed a controversial deal with a pro-Taliban cleric to allow sharia law in the Swat Valley. (ANI)

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