Islamabad: Taking suo motu cognisance of a teenage girl`s case, the Pakistani Supreme Court has expressed concern over the factors compelling rape victims` families to go for out-of-court settlement.
The court has urged civil society members to play their role to discourage such settlements by supporting the victim families, as judicial intervention could not alone eliminate these acts in the country, Daily Times reported Friday.
On March 21, three people raped a teenaged girl and the Sessions Court had fixed May 22 for the indictment of the accused. But the complainant in the case informed the court that an out-of-court settlement had been reached with the families of the accused.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed: "If we will not support the victim families then such type of cases would happen and this evil should be curbed with an iron hand."
The court asked the petitioners to play their role in discouraging out-of-court settlement in this case, as they should meet the victim`s family for moral support.
It also suggested that they file an appeal against the acquittal of the accused by the trial court in the case because everything should be done with due process.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja in the case observed that such issues could not be ended through courts` intervention as everyone should play their role in supporting the victim families.