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Thursday January 26, 2023

SC moved against acquittal of principal accused in Perween Rahman murder case

December 07, 2022

The family of Orangi Pilot Project director Perween Rahman has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the acquittal of the principle accused by the Sindh High Court in Rahman’s murder case.

Filing the appeal, Aquila Ismail, who is a sister of slain social activist Rahman, submitted that the high court’s judgment that acquitted the accused involved in the murder case was based on a complete misreading and non-reading of the evidence.

The petitioner’s counsel, Faisal Siddiqui, submitted that the confession of principle accused Rahim Sawati clearly proves that he devised the plan to murder Rahman with other accused persons.

He said the principal accused admitted that he wanted to illegally occupy the land in the premises of the OPP for establishing a karate club and later planned to murder Rahman to get rid of her.

He said the interview of Rahman recorded in 2011 clearly proves the motive behind murder was that the Sawati was threatening her to illegally occupy the land in the OPP premises for establishing a karate club.

Siddiqui argued that most of the findings on facts recorded in the judgment of the SHC are completely contrary to the evidence on the record. He submitted that high court judgment was based on flawed jurisprudence that accused is the favourite child of criminal law and the court’s only duty is to protect his right, without considering that the court has an equally important duty towards the victim of the crime in providing justice and both these duties to the accused and the victim have to be equally balanced.

He said that SHC judgment was imbalanced as it only felt the obligation to protect the rights of the accused and felt no obligation to deliver justice to the victim. The apex court was requested to set aside the SHC order and punish the accused involved in the murder of the OPP director.

The SHC on November 21 had set aside life imprisonment and other sentences awarded to five persons by an anti-terrorism court, observing that the prosecution failed to prove charges against them.

Mohammad Raheem Swati was sentenced to life imprisonment twice along with his three accomplices 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.

Raheem Swati, Ayaz Ali Swati, Ahmed Khan alias Pupoo Kashmiri, Mohammad Amjad Hussain and Mohammad Imran Swati, who were activists of the Awami National Party, had been prosecuted for murdering Rahman on March 13, 2013.

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

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