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Wednesday April 24, 2024

SHC sets aside life imprisonment of two in rape case

By Jamal Khurshid
December 26, 2022

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has recently set aside life imprisonment of two persons in a rape case stating that the prosecution failed to establish the charges.

Mohammad Aijaz and Zafar were sentenced to life imprisonment by a District East additional district and sessions court for committing rape of a 16-year-old girl in the Shah Faisal Colony area.

According to the prosecution, the appellants were residing near the house of the girl when they subjected her to rape and snatched her earrings.

A counsel for the appellant denied the allegations of the prosecution. The lawyer claimed that in fact, she had complained that her father Ghulam Akbar and his adopted son Muzamil had been raping her and the landlord of the building knew such fact.

The counsel submitted that when the victim’s father came know about her revelations, he demanded money from the appellants and when they did not pay him, he implicated them in the case.

An additional prosecution general supported the impugned judgment and requested the high court dismiss the appeal.

A single bench of the SHC comprising Justice Omar Sial after hearing the arguments of the counsel and perusal of evidence observed that the evidence of the victim’s father was sketchy and vague with regard to the incident.

The high court observed that the statement of the victim also contradicted her father’s statement as she did not verify her father’s claim that there was a repeat occurrence on May 16.

The high court observed that the victim had stated contrary to what she had said earlier that when she was being beaten up by the two accused, a number of persons were present there but none of them intervened.

She also said that the incident occurred at 9am on May 12, which did not reconcile with the prosecution’s version which claimed that she had gone missing between 2pm. and 4pm on the date of the incident.

The bench observed that the victim had stated that she was raped at Aijaz’s house where his parents and sisters also lived.

The high court observed that evidence of the victim could not be relied upon as there were too much contradictions in that.

The SHC observed that it was not clearly established how the girl had disappeared on the day of the incident in a slum area of the city congested with houses and nobody heard her alleged cries and shrieks.

The SHC observed that medical evidence did not support the victim’s claim of violence and torture marks.

The high court also observed that none of the guidelines given by high courts and the Supreme Court to handle rape cases were complied with in the investigation. The SHC observed that there were no DNA reports or forensics.

The bench set aside the trial court order and ordered the appellants to be released if not required in other cases.