LAHORE – The family members of a bride stunned litigants sitting in a courtroom on Tuesday when they told the judge that the ‘bridegroom’ was also a girl.

Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik of the Lahore High Court (LHC) was hearing a petition moved by a couple (Ayesha Butt and Shahzad Butt) seeking cancellation of an FIR registered by the family of the girl against the groom on the charges of kidnapping and theft.

The girl through her counsel contended that she contracted marriage with Shahzad Butt with her free will. In her statement, the girl also stated that no one kidnapped her and her family had lodged a fake case against her husband. She told the court that she wanted to go with her husband and requested that the FIR be quashed.

During the course of the hearing, the girl’s uncle Arif Butt started shouting that Shahzad Butt was not a man but a woman. Producing birth and school certificates, he said, Shahzad’s real name was Sonia Butt, as evident from the certificates. He alleged that Sonia Butt was a member of a criminal gang and that “she trapped girls posing as a man”.

Arif also urged the court to order medical examination of Sonia (Shahzad) so that the real picture could emerge. Justice Malik, however, observed that the instant petition only pertained to the FIR registered with Gujrat B-Division Police Station and the court could not issue any directions irrelevant to the petition.

The judge directed the police to cancel the FIR in the light of the girl’s statement and asked the girl’s family to approach the family court to establish their claim.

On coming out of the courtroom the couple initially avoided media persons, but in a brief talk with reporters Sonia (Shahzad) defended the allegations and said he was a man not a woman. Ayesha also spoke in favour of her ‘husband’.