Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Justice Athar Minallah, has introduced new guidelines regarding the investigation of child sexual abuse cases.
The ruling was issued during the hearing of a petition for bail in a case of child sexual abuse.
As per the ruling, from now on, only officers of ASP rank and above will investigate cases of child sexual abuse.
Justice Athar Minallah dismissed the petition after the ruling.
On August 20th, the person seeking bail was booked under sections 377 and 511 of the Pakistan Penal Code for sexually abusing a child at a seminary in Bara Kahu, Islamabad.
Justice Minallah was displeased with the investigation of this particular incident. The failure of police to find incriminating evidence in the case led to the accused seeking bail. Athar Minallah lamented the attitude of the investigation team.
He expressed serious concerns over the increasing number of child sexual abuse cases across the country. Justice Athar said that investigation teams must exercise caution when dealing with cases of child sexual abuse.
Due to poor quality of investigations and lapses on part of the prosecution, persons involved in heinous criminal acts go unpunished. Keeping in view the nature of offence of child sexual abuse and the state of affairs relating to the quality of investigations in Islamabad Capital Territory, it is directed that in a case involving alleged sexual abuse of a child, the investigations will be promptly entrusted to an official who is not lower in rank than an assistant superintendent of police.
The court suggested that the Chief Commissioner and Inspector General should devise a system that medically examines people involved in sexual abuse. The medical examination will determine the likelihood of the person committing the act if released on bail.