ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday dismissed a review appeal filed by Mukhtaran Mai against the acquittal of 13 people accused in her gang-rape case.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed announced the decision. The court also stated that the points raised in the petition may be looked at in another case.
Justice Ahmed advised that the petition should be shortened and said: “Shorten the review petition or it will drag on for 10 years.”
Mai’s lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan informed the court that the Lahore High Court (LHC) in its 2005 verdict had stated that no injuries resulting from a sexual assault were visible even though witness statements said otherwise.
In June 2002, Mai was gang-raped on the orders of a ‘panchayat’ as punishment after her younger brother was accused of illicit relations with a girl from a rival tribe.
In August 2002, an anti-terrorism court awarded death penalty to six out of 14 identified by Mai – four were sentenced for rape while two were awarded capital punishment for being part of the village council. The ATC released eight others.
In March 2005, five convicts were acquitted by a Lahore High Court bench while one’s sentence was converted into life imprisonment.
The acquittal was challenged in the apex court. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan and comprising former CJPs Nasirul Mulk and Mian Saqib Nisar upheld LHC decision and rejected the appeal in its April 2011 verdict.
Mai filed a review petition against the judgment in May 2011. In her review petition, Mai has pleaded that the court should review and recall the judgment and grant relief as prayed in the appeal. She had also requested the court to constitute a larger bench to hear her petition, contending that she is aggrieved of and dissatisfied with the findings of the court.