Supreme Court takes suo motu notice of Dera Bugti incident

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 12:21:58 by

The Supreme Court on Tuesday took suo motu notice of Dera Bugti incident in which 13 minor girls were bartered to settle a blood feud by a Tribal Jirga led by a provincial assembly member.

The Jirga decreed to Vani 13 girls as retaliation over killing of a person in Dera Bugti, Balochistan.

Deputy Commissioner Dera Bugti informed the apex court the incident came into his knowledge on Monday but according to his information seven girls have been declared Vani in Barkhan area of the Dera Bugi.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, while hearing Balochistan law and order case in Quetta registry of the apex court, directed the commissioner to take action against the people who were involved in the incident.

The Jirga, which continued for three days under the supervision of Balochistan Assembly member Tariq Khan Maisori, declared 13 girls as Vani besides imposing a fine of Rs. 3 million.

The practice of ‘Vani’ is being increasingly regarded as unacceptable to most of the communities, perhaps recognizing the cruelty involved thereof.

Vani is the custom of giving females in marriage by an offending party to the males of the victim party as consideration of compromising offences.

The tradition had been existed for centuries in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Balochistan and in some parts of Sindh under different names.

The accused MPA while speaking to a private TV channel denied the incident saying had he neither chaired any jirga nor was in his knowledge.

He claimed that he was outside the district for the last three weeks and during that period he had attended sessions of the provincial assembly in Quetta from Sept 18 to 27.

It is vital to mention here that the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Act, passed in 2011, criminalized this practice.

It reads: “Whoever gives a female in marriage or otherwise compels her to enter into marriage, as ‘badla-e-sulh’, wanni, or swara or any other custom or practice under any name, in consideration of settling a civil dispute or criminal liability, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years but shall not be less than three years and shall also be liable to fine of five hundred thousand rupees.”

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