LEGAL AID

AGHS provides legal aid in the following cases:

  • Where there is a violation of human rights by the state or non- state actors;
  • To women in obtaining their rights under family law;
  • To women and children, and other victims of the abuse of due process;
  • Due process in prisons to women and juveniles;
  • Religious minorities;
  • Those convicted of death penalty; and
  • Bonded laborers.

Litigation by AGHS Legal Aid Cell is supported by a committed legal team that provides quality free legal aid. In 2017, we provided free legal representation in 583 cases for women in family, other civil and sessions courts; 97 bail applications for juveniles and 37 bail applications for women; and we acted in 113 cases in the High Courts and Supreme Court. AGHS also pursues pro bono strategic litigation in the superior courts. In 2017, 67 new cases have been filed in the Supreme Court of which 9 have been decided and 58 remain pending. A total of 46 new cases have been filed in the High Courts of which 17 have been decided and 29 are pending.

OUR CASES

  • Nadia was not even born when her parents divorced. Her parents chose to lead separate lives, remarrying and subsequently abandoning young Nadia to live with her maternal grandmother, who eventually raised and educated her. A police constable named Mushtaq would regularly visit Nadia’s grandmother. Mushtaq was a clever man who was much older to Nadia. Once Nadia’s grandmother was unable to pay back a sum Mushtaq had loaned to her, he used this situation to ask her for Nadia’s hand in marriage. Although his request was refused, Mushtaq remained persistent and sexually harassed Nadia on multiple occasions, physically injuring her when she would reject his advances. However, as her grandmother grew more ill, she gave in to Mushtaq’s requests and arranged Nadia’s marriage to him. She spent fourteen years with Mushtaq who, despite having three children with her, regularly physically, emotionally and verbally abused Nadia. On once instance, he broke her hand and fractured her fingers. Anyone who tried to help her would be threatened with false criminal charges. However, Nadia eventually found the courage to leave him and her grandmother took her to AGHS Legal Aid Cell so that she could file a case for dissolution of marriage. In the meanwhile, she was made to stay at Dastak. During this period, not only did Nadia’s husband threaten her of dire consequences, but he also tried to intimidate the Dastak administration. He threatened the clerk and lawyer pursuing the case, and he arrived at AGHS armed with a weapon. However, despite Mushtaq’s efforts to influence court proceedings, Nadia was eventually able to get a divorce from him with AGHS Legal Aid Cell’s assistance.

  • Jamila, wife of Anwar, arrived at AGHS severely injured. She had asked for maintenance from her husband who subsequently beat her and kicked her out of their house. Jamila was taken by AGHS’s crisis center officers to a female police station, where she underwent a medical examination on the basis of which a report was filed. Eventually, a criminal complaint against Anwar was also filed. In the meanwhile, Jamila was sent to a shelter home and her children were recovered from Anwar with the assistance of a bailiff. A court case for dissolution of marriage was also filed on Jamila’s request, as she did not want to live with her husband any longer. Once rehabilitated, AGHS also helped Jamila find employment at SOS Children’s Village.

  • Rani Bibi, daughter of Ameer was married at the age of thirteen to Asghar (who was a member of her distant family). According to Rani Bibi, one of her cousins named Bashir Ahmad also took a liking to her but was a drug addict and her mother was vehemently opposed to his advances towards Rani. Her mother harbored this grudge and provoked Rani’s brother against Bashir as well. However, it so happened that in 1998 and six months into their marriage, Rani’s husband Asghar was killed. The police arrested Rani, Ameer, her brother Yousaf and her mother. A case was filed against them and the Additional District and Sessions judge found them guilty and sentenced them to imprisonment for life. However, Rani’s mother was set free eventually on the basis of insufficient evidence while her brother and Bashir completed their respective sentences and were set free. Rani’s father passed away in prison, but it was Rani who continued to suffer. She spent twenty years in jail, simply because everyone she knew had forgotten about her. In 2015, AGHS visited Faislabad and Rani Bibi’s case was taken up by the organization. Despite delays in the judicial system and roadblocks in attaining access to justice, Rani was eventually set free by the Court with AGHS’s help.

  • Rang Elahi was an owner in possession of some agricultural land, who died on 27.06.1990 leaving behind six daughters Haleema Saadia, Shaafia Bano, Aasia Zeeshan-ul-Aamir, Asma Ashraf, Shazia Shakeel, Shakeela bibi and two sons Tariq Mehmood and Fayyaz Hussain. After the death of Rang Elahi, his son Tariq Mehmood took over possession of the agricultural land forcibly. Haleema Saadia and her sisters time and again requested for their share but he continued to ignore their pleas. Haleema Saadia etc., approached AGHS Legal Aid Cell for legal assistance. AGHS filed a suit for partition against their brothers Tariq Mahmood etc., it was after decades that in 2018 the case decided in the sisters’ favour. Their respective shares were transferred in their names and possession was delivered accordingly.

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