Currently, a two-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi is hearing a petition regarding murder of a woman by acid attack of his husband. During case hearing on Monday the honourable Supreme Court directed that the appeal against the death sentence of the accused for killing his wife by throwing acid, be set before a three-judge bench, observing that acid attacks on women was a crime against society. The counsel for the accused argued that the presence of witnesses on the crime scene was not proved, while Judges asked if the witnesses were not present on the spot, then did the women throw acid on themselves? The lawyer pointed out the flaws in the investigationq, while the adjucaters were of the view that there were normal mistakes in the investigation of every case and if the investigation did not spoil the facts of the case, there was no problem in delivery of justice to the masses.
In fact, the trend of throwing acid on girls and women by their relatives or other male members of the society was on the peak in the past years. Apparently, this practice portrays gender inequality, women’s poor position and vulnerability in our society, who face serious risk of attack by the strangers as well as close relatives including husband, fiance, and cusions etc. Historically, the acid attacks were outlawed in Pakistan criminal justice system in 2011 and imprisonment not more than seven years was set as a maximum punishment for this offence. After unprecedented surge in acid attacks during 2014-2018, the PML-N government passed Acid and Burn Crime Bill-2018 and proposed life imprisonment for a convict involved in assassination of a woman/man by an acid attack.
Although, there are sufficient legislation, SOPs and regulations to curb crimes and control lawlessness in the society. But, our Police is entirely corrupt, and did not take interest in investigation of crimes, rather case proceedings including medico legal examination, filing of FIR, and subsequent police investigation move on bribes paid by the heir of victim and accused. Resultently, Police submits the case in the favor of highest bidder or indifferent if Investigator intends to appease both groups. Honestly, the government must introduce stringent reforms and strict accountibility in police if desires to control crimes in the society.