PESHAWAR: A local court on Saturday directed a bailiff for the recovery of a family, including two women, allegedly kept in illegal detention by officials of Pahari Pura police station as a male member of the family married a girl against her parents’ wishes.

Additional district and sessions judge Shehzad Akhundzada issued the order over a habeas corpus petition filed by a female member of the family, Yasmeen Riaz, who alleged that a couple and their son and daughter were taken away by officials of the Pahari Pura police station five days ago and their whereabouts hadn’t been known since then.

The petitioner said a male member of the family, Arsalan, had married a girl and that the couple had gone into hiding fearing for their lives.

She alleged that the detainees included Arsalan’s father Fayaz, mother Naheed Kausar, sister Aroosa and brother Furqan.

The court directed the bailiff to search, recover and produce the detainees before it on Mar 9.

It directed the bailiff to search for the detainees in the police station and police quarters.

The court ordered the SHO of the relevant police station to cooperate with the bailiff for the recovery of detainees and allow their production before it in case of illegal detention.

The judge warned that if the SHO didn’t cooperate with the bailiff, he should be subjected to legal action.

Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel, lawyer for the petitioner, said the SHO had illegally detained the whole family of the bridegroom, who got married without the consent of the bride’s family, and that the bridegroom’s family members, including mother and sister, were held even though no charges were made in the FIR against them.

He said the bride’s father had registered an FIR at the Paharipura police station on Mar 2 accusing Arsalan of tempting his daughter away for marriage.

The lawyer said though only Arsalan was charged in the FIR, the police had arrested the entire family. He claimed that the bride’s family was influential, so the police officials acted illegally at its behest.

The lawyer said despite passage of five days, the detainees had not been produced before any court by the police suggesting that detention was illegal.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2020