KARACHI: The father of Dua Zahra, Mehdi Kazmi, has once again filed a plea in the Sindh High Court, seeking the recovery of the teenager who had gone missing from her Karachi residence in April but was later found to have married Zaheer Ahmed in Lahore.
The plea has moved the court to take action against Zaheer if “rape” is proved in medical tests. This time, Mehdi has based his case on new medical tests conducted to determine Zahra’s age, which found the girl to be between 15 and 16 years. Kazmi stated that Zaheer kidnapped Zahra, when she was exactly 13 years, 11 months and 19 days old, and he has all the documents to prove it, including her National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) birth certificate, educational certificates and passport.
He claimed that Zaheer took Zahra to Punjab to marry her and mentioned her age as 18 in the marriage contract to declare it valid. Kazmi further said in his plea that he had approached the SHC earlier as well and sought her recovery in a petition filed on May, 7, 2022, after which the police produced the couple on June 6.
“The SHC allowed Zahra to go with whoever she wants to on the basis of the first round of bone ossification tests that stated her to be 17 years old,” the plea stated. “However, the reports of recent medical tests have established that Zahra is younger than 16 years,” it added.
Kazmi requested the court to order Zahra’s recovery from the “illegal custody” of Zaheer and over to the parents. Sindh home department, Sindh inspector general of police, Alfalah SHO, Zaheer and others have been nominated as respondents in the petition. The medical board’s report of ossification and dentition evaluation performed on Zahra has stated her age to be between 15 and 16 years.
A 10-member medical board on Monday submitted the report determining the age of the teenager in the court of judicial magistrate (East) ahead of the hearing of a case filed by Zahra’s father for the determination of her age. The test to determine her age was conducted a second time over Kazmi’s petition challenging an earlier test that suggested that the girl’s age was between 16 and 17.
Zahra’s age according to the fresh report is: On the basis of physical examination — 14-15 years; on the basis of dentition evaluation and OPG examination — 13-15 years; on the basis of epiphyseal closure assessed through radiological examination — 16-17. “The consensus opinion regarding the overall age of Ms Dua Zahra D/O Syed Mehdi Kazmi is between fifteen to sixteen (15-16) years, nearer to fifteen years, based on physical examination and dentition,” the report concluded. The court will hold a hearing on the case on July 7.