Chief Justice takes Suo Moto notice of lashing of young girl in Swat

 Report  A Khokar    4 April 2009


ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday took a suo motu notice of the incident of lashing of a young girl publicly at Kabaal area of Swat district. The Chief Justice has constitute an eight-member larger bench to hear the case from April 6 and issued notices to Secretary Interior, Inspector General of Police, Chief Secretary NWFP and directed them to appear in person and produce the young girl before the apex Court on the said date. According to a press release issued from Supreme Court, the Chief Justice has termed it a very cruel act, in violation of the fundamental rights and giving very bad name to the country.


The treatment is also in violation of Islamic norms/ principles. The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees fundamental rights of its citizens and no person can be deprived of life, liberty without due process of law. The dignity of person is inviolable. No person can be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment/ punishment. Punishment of whipping is prohibited by law. The incident therefore constitutes a serious violation of the Constitution/law. It may be pointed out that according to Article 247 of the Constitution the executive authority of the Federation extends to the Tribal Areas including the Provincially Administered tribal Areas (PATA).


 The Federal/ Provincial laws do not automatically apply to the Tribal Areas, however, such laws can be extended to it with the approval of President/Governor. Relevant portion of Article 247 is as under:- “(1) Subject to the Constitution, the executive authority of the Federation shall extend to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and the executive authority of a Province shall extend to the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas therein”. (7) Neither the Supreme Court nor a High Court shall exercise and jurisdiction under the Constitution in relation to a Tribal Area, unless (Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) by law otherwise provides: Provided that nothing in this clause shall affect the jurisdiction which the Supreme Court or a High Court exercised in relation to a tribal Area immediately before the commencing day.” 5. It is pointed out that in the 1970’s; the Supreme Court and High Court jurisdiction was extended to PATA. 6. In view of the above, HCJ may consider taking action in the matter under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.


 The Chief Justice has termed it a serous matter of violation of fundamental rights, guaranteed under the Constitution of Pakistan and constituted a larger Bench comprising Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry,Justice Javed Iqbal,Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed and Justice Ch. Ijaz Ahmed.


Source: Frontier Post