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Wednesday July 17, 2024

SHC sets aside conviction in rape case

By Jamal Khurshid
December 18, 2022

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has set aside the conviction of a man in a rape case stating that the prosecution failed to prove the charges.

Appellant Khalil Ahmed was sentenced to 10 years in prison by an additional district and sessions court West for committing rape of a 16-year-old girl in the Kalri area of Lyari in January 2022.

A counsel for the appellant submitted that he was involved in the case falsely by the complainant and the FIR was lodged with a delay of about three days.

He submitted that there was no DNA report and evidence of the prosecution was inconsistent and doubtful but it was believed by the trial court without assigning cogent reasons, due to which the appellant was entitled to acquittal by extending him the benefit of the doubt.

A deputy prosecutor general supported the impugned judgment and sought dismissal of the appeal by contending that the prosecution had been able to prove its case against the appellant beyond any shadow of doubt.

A single bench of the high court headed by Justice Irshad Ali Shah after hearing the arguments of the case observed that the FIR of the incident was lodged with a delay of three days.

The high court observed that the girl had stated that she was in her house when the appellant arrived there, assaulted her physically and then subjected her to rape.

The SHC observed that a medical officer had stated that no mark of violence was found on the victim and by stating so she belied the victim in her version that she was assaulted before being subjected to rape.

The bench observed that as per the medical officer, the victim was not subjected to rape in the recent past of the incident and there was no DNA report.

The high court observed that there were inconsistencies in the statement of the prosecution witness with regard to the arrest of the appellant which could not be ignored.

The SHC observed that the investigation officer also admitted in his deposition that the victim had stated in her 161 CrPC statement that the appellant had attempted to commit her rape, but she resisted and did not allow him to do so.

The high court observed that if such a statement was believed to be so, it absolved the appellant from the charge of rape.

The SHC observed that the prosecution had not been able to prove its case against the appellant beyond any shadow of doubt.

The bench set aside the conviction of the appellant and acquitted him of charges under which he was tried, convicted and sentenced by the trial court.