Surpreme Court Petition for Justice
– The Nation, September 21st 2013: SC takes up Perveen Rehman murder case
ISLAMABAD – Setting aside Registrar office’s objections, the Supreme Court on Thursday admitted a petition pertaining to brutal murder of Perveen Rehman, a well-known social worker, for regular hearing.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Tassadaq Hussain Jilani was hearing a petition of Human Right Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) and members of civil society groups. The petitioners have made the Sindh government, federal governments and the provincial police as respondents.
The counsel for petitioner told the court that Perveen Rehman’s murderers being sheltered by a Karachi-based political party are still at large. The petition represents a humanitarian initiative to draw attention to justice denied to a person who dedicated three decades of her life to redress grievances of the poor in the face of land grabbers.
Rehman compiled land records of villages on the fringes of Karachi, which were vanishing into the city’s vastness because of ever-increasing demand from thousands of families migrating from across the country. According to Rehman, around 1,500 villages were forcibly merged into the city by land grabbers over the past 15 years. The land was subdivided into plots, which were sold for billions of rupees. She had also documented land in Orangi Town to protect the slum from the city’s notorious land grabbers.
According to her colleagues, she had been receiving death threats from land grabbers. In one of her interviews conducted in 2011, she had stated in detail the nature of land grabbing activities in Karachi and the threats received by her and her colleagues.
Surpreme Court Petition for Justice
The Supreme Court has decreed maintainability of our petition. Will keep you informed of the hearings. Thank you for all your support. Aquila
From our lawyer: “The Registrar SC had returned the Constitution Petition with objection that the petition involved grievance of individual nature and no question of public importance involving violation of fundamental rights was raise. Appeal against the office order was filed and today the SC allowed the appeal and ordered the Registrar to fix the Petition for hearing.
Our plea before the Supreme Court:
…she had extensive knowledge of the activities of the land mafia in Karachi and that she had refused to abandon her social work despite continuous threat to her life for many years, as a result of which she had become a symbol of resistance against the growing activities of the land mafia. Her murder has contributed to further expansion of the activities of the land mafia across various slums and goths lying on the fringes of Karachi, including Orangi Town, where impoverished households are facing threats of eviction, and has dealt a severe blow to the humanitarian activities being carried out by social workers in the impoverished neighborhoods of the largest city of Pakistan.
… That under Article 9 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, the state is responsible for providing protection and safety to the life and liberty of all citizens, but in the present case the state has not only failed to provide security to the deceased but has also failed to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the offence, thereby shattering the confidence of citizens, who are facing the onslaught of powerful land mafias, in the writ of the state, and boosting the confidence of land mafias and other criminal elements involved in violation of the Fundamental Rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973. The State is duty bound to protect and safeguard all Fundamental Rights including the right to life and liberty as envisaged by Article 9 of the Constitution, which includes protection against atrocities, target killings, homicide etc., …
In view of the submissions made herein above, it is most respectfully prayed that for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights of citizens embodied in Articles 9 and 10A of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, this Hon’ble Court may graciously be pleased to issue appropriate directions for the constitution/appointment of a Commission headed by a Judge of this Hon’ble Court to investigate the incident of target killing of Ms. Parveen Rehman, internationally renowned social worker and Director of Orangi Pilot Project, registered as FIR No. 104/2013 lodged at Police Station Peerabad under Sections 302/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.