LHC orders establishment of special units to investigate rape cases

LAHORE (PPI): Lahore High Court Thursday ordered the provincial government to establish special units in all districts to investigate rape cases in Punjab. A 9-page court order was issued by LHC judge, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh while conducting the hearing of a petition filed by a female rape victim. The victim woman challenged the police’s action to change the provisions of rape with Zina in the FIR.

In his judgment, the LHC judge directed the Punjab government to constitute special units in all the districts in order to impart training to the police officers for the investigation of rape cases.

According to the court order, in many cases, the accused have escaped punishment due to faulty investigation. During the case hearing, the court was told that no special units under the Anti-Rape Act were established in many districts. If this is the case, then the government must establish special units and impart training to the police officers.

The LHC ruling further directed that it is mandatory to include a woman police officer in the special unit because the female victim would feel comfortable in the presence of a woman police officer during the rape investigation. In cases involving children, the inclusion of a female police officer becomes even more important. A thorough investigation must be made in the rape and sexual assault cases on the pattern of criminal cases.

The case becomes weak if medical tests or DNA samples are not sent to the laboratory on time and the accused gets the benefit of the weak case, the judgment reads.

During the hearing, the Sialkot DPO informed the court that a special unit completed its investigation into the aforesaid rape case under Section 9 of the Anti-Rape Act.
The court disposed of the case.