Pak SC judge writes dissenting note in Mukhtaran Mai gangrape case

April 22nd, 2011 - 4:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, April 22(ANI): A Pakistan Supreme Court judge, who was part of three-member bench that acquitted five of the six accused in the Mukhtaran Mai gangrape case on Thursday, has written a dissenting note in the case.

A three-judge bench- comprising Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk and Justice Mian Saqib Nisar- rejected Mukhtar Mai’s appeals against the acquittal of her tormentors and for enhancement of their sentence yesterday, by a majority of two to one.

Inhis dissenting note, Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk partially accepted the appeals of Mukhtar Mai to an extent, when he set aside the High Court’s verdict of acquitting the accused, the Dawn reports.

Mai was gang raped on the orders of a village council in 2002 as a punishment because her brother - who was just 12 years old at that time - was judged to have offended the honour of a powerful clan by allegedly having an affair with one of its women.

“It is quite normal that crimes of rape are not reported promptly,” observed Justice Mulk, while taking note that an FIR was lodged after a delay of eight days, and said that the devastating effect of rape on the victim and her family itself furnished an explanation for delay in such reporting.

“There is another compelling reason that discourages the rape victim to prosecute the accused. She is deterred by the embarrassment and humiliation she will have to suffer in narrating the incident to strangers, more so, to the police recording the FIR, followed by probes during investigation into matters personal to her,” he added.

Justice Mulk also said that a rape victim “will further have to bear the agony of narrating the story in an open court in the presence of men and face searching and harassing questions from the cross-examiner. The rape victim relives the trauma every time she narrates the incident.”

“Rape victims in our society, particularly from rural areas, are not free agents. To bring the rapist to justice, they invariably require permission and approval of their men-folk,” he added.

The judge also noted that the complainant party was “under a continuous threat from the accused not to disclose the incident.”

“However despite such odds, the complainant, an illiterate woman of rural humble background, mustered tremendous courage to stand up against powerful influential culprits to bring them to justice,” he observed. (ANI)

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