SC issues non-bailable arrest warrants of Mai's accused assaulters
29 June, 2005
ISLAMABAD, June 29(Online): The Supreme Court on Tuesday annulled the decision of Lahore High Court's Multan bench decision in Mukhtaran Mai rape case and issued non bailable arrest warrants for all 13 accused.
The Apex Court Bench comprised of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Rana Bhagwan Das and Justice Saeed Al Ashad.
Mukhtaran Mai whose plight attracted international attention was repeatedly assaulted on orders of village council of Meerawala Jatoi in the district of Multan in June 2002. She was punished for her brother's alleged affair with a woman of an influential tribe.
Attorney General of Pakistan Makhdoom Ali Khan said, the apex court is entitled to issue arrest warrants for the accused while the Federal Shariat Court has no authority to take up the matter, as it is beyond its jurisdiction.
Mukhtaran Mai counsel Aitzaz Ahsan argued with references about rights of Women in Supreme Court of Canada and US saying her client was assaulted on orders of village council and Lahore Courts decision was not on merit.
Malik Salim advocate represented the accused.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry gave away his ruling issuing arrest warrants of all 13 accused of Mukhtaran Mai rape case. One accused Abdul Khaliq is already in police custody.
Supreme Court directed Inspector General Punjab to take all the accused into custody and they will remain in custody until the decision is reached.
The Full bench of the Supreme Court allowed hearing of all connected appeals of Mukhataran Mai rape case and prorogued the hearing.
Later on talking to newsmen much elated Mukhtaran Mai said she expected justice from Supreme Court and that's what she got.
"I am thankful to Almighty Allah who made this possible. This is a historic decision of the Apex court, which revealed it upon the world that you too get justice in Pakistan," she added.
Responding to a query she said, "I have got my passport back and I have got invitations from several countries to visit but so far I have not applied for any visa as I have no intent of going abroad."
"I am very happy living in Pakistan," she maintained.
She said she has got police protection and her two schools are running quite successfully how she could leave the country in these circumstances.
"This is the happiest day of my life and I can't find words to express my feelings. It could not have been possible for me if NGOs particularly Mr Aitzaz Ahsan who stood by me through thick and thin," she remarked.