Saturday May 25, 2024

SHC sets aside life imprisonment in murder case

By Jamal Khurshid
April 22, 2024
This image shows the building of the Sindh High Court in Karachi. — Facebook/Sindh High Court Bar Association Karachi/File
This image shows the building of the Sindh High Court in Karachi. — Facebook/Sindh High Court Bar Association Karachi/File

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has set aside the life imprisonment of a man in a murder case observing that the prosecution had failed to prove charges against him.

The appellant, Rehman Bacha, was sentenced to life imprisonment by an additional district and sessions court Malir for murdering a man in the Quaidabad area. According to the prosecution, the appellant fired at Ahmed Ali on August 27, 2018 on the Mehran Highway near Gul Ahmed Roundabout after exchange of heated arguments.

The appellant’s counsel submitted that Bacha was falsely implicated in the case and the evidence of eyewitnesses could not be safely relied upon especially in terms of correct identification of the accused. He submitted that the best eyewitnesses’ evidence were withheld or given up by the prosecution which raised the inference that those eyewitnesses would not have supported the prosecution’s case.

He submitted that the crime weapon was foisted upon the appellant by the police and it did not produce a positive forensic report when it was matched with the empty recovered at the crime scene.

An additional prosecutor general and the complainant’s counsel supported the prosecution case and stated that the prosecution had proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt. A single bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha after hearing the arguments of the case observed that the eyewitness did not mention features of the appellant in the statement as the person whom he saw firing on the deceased and he only heard the name of the appellant by someone who did not give evidence that name may or may not have been correct.

The bench also observed that the evidence of the son of the deceased could not be relied upon as there were contradictions in his statement with regard to the identity of the appellant.

The SHC observed that the appellant had no motive of murdering the deceased and police did not produce the appellant before the judicial magistrate with regard to record his confession about the murder therefore the confession before the police was inadmissible as evidence.

The bench observed that the appellant himself surrendered before the court by taking plea that he was in a village in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa along with a defence witness.

The SHC observed that there was no reliable identification of the appellant as the person who had shot and murdered the deceased at the crime scene.

The high court observed that the prosecution failed to prove its case against the appellant and by extending the benefit of the doubt, the appellant was entitled to be acquitted as matter of right. The SHC set aside the life imprisonment of the appellant and ordered him to be released if not required in other cases.