Friday September 29, 2023

SHC upholds death sentence of three in child abduction and murder case

June 02, 2023

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday dismissed the appeal of three convicts and upheld their death sentence in a child kidnapping and murder case.

Shamshair Ali Mirza, Abdul Sattar and Mohammad Salman had been sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) for kidnapping a boy for ransom and later killing him in cold blood. According to the prosecution, the appellants kidnapped a 12-year-old boy, Shahid Ali, in the Saeedabad area and demanded Rs10 million as ransom. They later killed the boy and dumped his body in the Scheme 33 area in January 2021. A counsel for the appellant submitted that there were no eyewitnesses of the kidnapping and the murder of the boy and there was no last scene evidence in the case. They submitted that no ransom demand was made by the appellants and the confession of Mirza could not be relied upon as he had retracted from it before a judicial magistrate.

An additional prosecutor general supported the trial court’s judgment and submitted that the judicial confession of Mirza had implicated him and other co-appellants in the crime and the prosecution had proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt. A division bench of the high court comprising Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha and Justice Kausar Sultana Hussain after hearing the arguments and perusal of the evidence observed that the judicial confession of Mirza as seen from its content also had the object of telling the truth and that fit in with the prosecution case as being a case of kidnapping of ransom.

The bench observed that all the material safeguards regarding the recording of judicial confession were complied with by the judicial magistrate and there was no evidence that the retracted judicial confession was not made voluntarily.The high court observed that the prosecution had proved an unbroken chain of evidence where one end of the same touched the dead body and the other the neck of the accused persons.

The SHC observed that a young child was abducted for ransom and murdered by suffocation and his body was disposed of in the most brutal manner. The high court observed that the life of a young child was snuffed out for a few lacs and misery and trauma was brought onto his parents which would never end. The SHC observed that such acts were an abomination in any society and needed to be stamped out. The high court observed that those who committed these crimes needed to be made aware that if proven guilty of such horrific acts, the courts would show no leniency as such horrific crimes fully warranted and justified the maximum sentence as a deterrent. The bench observed that it could maintain the death penalty in cases such as this that were based on circumstantial evidence. The high court dismissed the appeals of the convicts and upheld the death sentences awarded to them by the trial court.