A court in Karachi has ordered the police to keep investigating the Dua Zehra case to determine the child’s actual age, as she and her parents make contradictory claims about the same.
Earlier, the Sindh High Court had ruled that Dua, who claims to have contracted marriage of her own accord, is free to decide her fate. Subsequently, her father, Mehdi Kazmi, had challenged the decision in the Supreme Court, where his petition was disposed of due to lack of jurisdiction and he was told to approach the relevant forums for the formation of a medical board to determine his daughter’s age.
Today, during the hearing at the Court of Judicial Magistrate East, the petitioner’s counsel said that in the police challan, Dua’s age is stated to be 17 years, while her father says she is 14 and has NADRA documents to prove it.
The counsel pointed out that the police have declared the case “C-class” without even determining Dua’s age.
The judicial magistrate returned the case challan to the police, directing them to further investigate and collect evidence regarding the true age of Dua through a medical board.
“After hearing the arguments of the counsel for the complainant and DPP for the state and perusing the record, I am of the considered view that the age of the alleged abductee is material question to determine whether she was enticed to leave the house of her father or otherwise she left the house on her free consent (to which she was old enough to take the decision), therefore application for further investigation is allowed,” the order stated.
Later, in a media talk outside the court, the investigating officer in the case said: “We have investigated the case from every angle and found out that the girl went with her own free will. Dua and Zaheer became friends on the online game PUBG and had known each other for three years. They decided to get married there.”