Rights Watch | 3rd December 2020

Sindh High Court orders simplified SOP for investigative practices in rape and assault cases. While the Supreme Court had earlier called for reforms in existing investigation methods for sex crimes, the order has yet to be implemented.

Rights Watch

Sindh High Court orders simplified SOPs for rape and assault cases

The Sindh High Court on Tuesday, December 1, issued directives to the police to simplify drafted standard operating procedures (SOP) for investigations of rape and assault cases. The simplified SOP, once approved, will be circulated in all police stations in the province in Urdu, English, and Sindhi.

The order came in light of a petition filed by one Kainat Soomro and others demanding reforms in existing investigative and forensic practices in sexual assault cases, which although had been ordered by the Supreme Court but were not being complied with.

Citing the example of Jamna Saami who was forced to wait four months for the DNA test results proving that she had been raped, the petitioners contended that existing investigation protocols are only serving to delay justice to victims and survivors, as well as muddy their cases.

FIA nabs child pornographer in Narowal

Acting on a tip-off from Brazil, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday managed to apprehend one Riaz in Narowal for his suspected involvement in an international child porn racket. Around 600 pornographic videos and images of minors were recovered from his possession, and his laptops and other electronic devices have been seized for forensic examination.

Sindh Marriage Act not implemented, laments PML-N lawmaker

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) member of the provincial assembly, Hina Pervaiz Butt, pushed for a resolution for the implementation of the Sikh Marriage Act in the Punjab Assembly. The lawmaker pointed out that despite its passage two years ago, Sikh girls are left in dire straits as they are unable to register their marriages.

Juvenile justice committees to be made functional, SHC orders

The Sindh High Court on Wednesday, December 3, directed districts and sessions judges to oversee the functioning of juvenile justice committees, and further issued orders for these committees to submit regular compliance reports to judges. Under the Juvenile Justice System Act of 2018, juvenile justice committees were established to refer juvenile offenders for “diversion”, that is any “alternative process of determining the responsibility and treatment of a juvenile on the basis of his social, cultural, economic, psychological and educational background without resorting to formal judicial proceedings.”

Such committees were established in 26 of the province’s 29 districts, but were not performing their due duties. Korangi, Sujawal and Khairpur have yet to form their juvenile justice committees as they are still awaiting nominations by their respective district judges.