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Thursday February 29, 2024

SHC dismisses plea for inclusion of additional evidence in Perween Rahman murder case

November 09, 2022

The Sindh High Court on Tuesday dismissed an application filed by a complainant in Orangi Pilot Project director Perween Rahman’s murder case for the inclusion of additional evidence, observing that the evidence was already in the knowledge of the prosecution.

Auqila Ismail had filed application with the SHC on appeals filed by convicts against their convictions, submitting that she came to know that main appellant Mohammad Raheem Swati had also admitted to the murder in a private television channel interview.

She said the contents of the private channel’s interview materially corroborate the confession of appellant Swati and proved that the motive behind the murder was a dispute between the appellant and Rahman over a piece of land of the OPP.

The court was requested to take the additional evidence, in relation to the video recording of the interview of the appellant, by itself or direct that it be taken up by the trial court. A division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha, after hearing the arguments of the counsel and the additional prosecutor general, observed that the additional evidence was not necessary as the trial court had already believed one of the confessions of the appellant though it was retracted by him.

The court observed that allowing such evidence after one year of the conviction would cause prejudice to the appellants and would be in violation of Article 10-A of the constitution and merely an attempt to fill in the lacuna in the prosecution case by attempting to strength the prosecution case.

It further observed that if the application is allowed it would further prejudice the accused by delaying their appeals by months, if not years, as the piece of evidence, which is sought to be adduced, would have to undergo stringent tests before it could even be held to be admissible.

The high court directed the office to fix the matter on November 10 for another hearing of the case. Swati, along with his three accomplices, was sentenced to two life terms for murdering Rahman in Orangi Town.

The court also sentenced Imran Swati, son of Raheem Swati, and three others to seven years in prison for abetment and concealment of evidence. Swati, Ayaz Ali Swati, Ahmed Khan alias Pupoo Kashmiri, Mohammad Amjad Hussain and Imran Swati, who were activists of the Awami National Party, had been prosecuted for murdering Rahman on March 13, 2013.

The prosecution alleged that the accused, who were activists of the ANP, wanted to get the OPP office for the purpose of building a Karate centre in Orangi Town, and on refusal they hatched a conspiracy to kill Rahman through paid killers of banned militant outfit Tehreek-e-Talban Pakistan.