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Sunday May 19, 2024

Two women get year’s probation for using forged banknote

By Yousuf Katpar
April 21, 2024
A representational image showing currency notes of  Rs1,000.— AFP/File
A representational image showing currency notes of  Rs1,000.— AFP/File

A Karachi court has awarded a two-year prison sentence to two women in a counterfeit currency note case. Sobia and Farhat were found guilty of using a forged Rs1,000 banknote as fare on a Peoples Bus in January last year.

Additional Sessions Judge (West) Irshad Hussain sentenced both the accused to one year in prison, and imposed a fine of Rs10,000 on each for the offence punishable under Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

He also awarded them one-year imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 489-C (possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes) of the PPC. However, the judge decided to place the women in the custody of a probation officer for a period of one year.

“They shall enter into a bond of Rs10,000 and bound themselves to rehabilitate themselves as good citizens and avoid themselves from repeating the commission of the same offence for one year from today,” he instructed.

The judge observed that the women were first-time offenders and the sole breadwinners of their families, so sending them to jail to serve out their sentence would not benefit them or reform their lives and help them mend their ways. He noted that the accused moved an application, voluntarily confessing their guilt.

The judge explained that the normal punishment for the offence under Section 420 of the PPC is seven years of imprisonment along with a fine, and for the offence under Section 489-C of the PPC, it is also seven years of imprisonment or a fine, or both.

However, he elaborated that there are mitigating circumstances in this case, as the women have no previous record of conviction, and are stated to be poor and sole breadwinners of their families, with Farhat being a widow. Taking these mitigating circumstances into account, he decided to consider a more lenient sentence.

According to the prosecution, on January 21, 2023, both women were travelling on a Peoples Bus when the accused Sobia handed a Rs1,000 banknote to conductor Aamir to pay the fare.

Upon inspection, the note was found to be counterfeit. Two more fake notes of the same denomination were found in Sobia’s possession, and three counterfeit notes were recovered from Farhat.

The accused testified that they were not aware about the currency notes being fake. However, they admitted that they had handed a Rs1,000 note to the driver, which was termed counterfeit.

The women said they were ashamed of their act and threw themselves at the mercy of the court. The FIR had been lodged at the Docks police station.