Monday, July 04, 2022
The medical board's report of ossification and dentition evaluation performed on Dua Zahra has stated the age of the teenager— who had gone missing from her Karachi residence in April but was later found to have married Zaheer Ahmed in Lahore — to between 15 or 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 Mehdi Ali Kazmi 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:
“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 hearing on the case on July 7.
Earlier, the lawyer representing the father of the teenager also confirmed that the medical board's report of ossification and dentition tests performed on Dua Zahra has stated her age as "nearest to 15 years".
Taking to Twitter, Kazmi's lawyer and social rights activist Jibran Nasir said that the report has negated the results of the previous medical report that declared the girl to be 16-17 years of age.
He went on to say that the documents presented by Zahra's parents — according to which her age is under 15 years — have been proved true.
"Dua in reality is a 14yr child," Nasir said.
"The medical board has verified the truth which Parents have been telling since 2.5 months. As per the board Dua Zahra is nearest to 15 yrs of age negating the previous medical report which placed Dua at 17. Thus proven that NADRA documents are accurate and Dua in reality is a 14yr child," he wrote on Twitter.
The hearing of the case is scheduled to start shortly.
The teenager had undergone various tests on Saturday as authorities try to determine her age in line with court orders, her father’s lawyer confirmed.
The Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) took Zahra into its custody from Lahore and brought her to Karachi last week for medical tests.
Sources told Geo News X-ray and some other tests were conducted at the Services Hospital, while dental tests were conducted at another hospital. Following this, the police brought her back to Services Hospital.
The Sindh High Court (SHC) had on June 8 said that the teenager, who claims she entered into marriage with Ahmed of her own will, was free to decide her fate.
Her father Mehdi Ali Kazmi challenged the SHC order in the Supreme Court but his plea was disposed of on June 23 as it did not fall under the jurisdiction of the top court.
During the SC hearing, a three-member bench had asked the father to approach relevant forums for the formation of a medical board to ascertain Zahra’s age.
Then, on June 25, Judicial Magistrate-XXIV Aftab Ahmed Bughio directed the Sindh health secretary to decide within a week on the application filed by Kazmi calling for a medical board to determine his daughter’s age as he insisted that she was a minor.
Subsequently, a 10-member medical board was then formed by the Sindh Health Department, which is headed by Dow Medical College Principal Professor Saba Sohail and includes experts in radiology, gynaecology, dentistry, and forensics.