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March 28, 2020

SHC commutes life imprisonment of kidnappers to seven-year term

Karachi

March 28, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has dismissed the appeals of two men convicted in a kidnapping for ransom case but modified their life imprisonment sentence to seven-year jail term as the charge of demanding a ransom could not be proved.

Qari Amin and Fazl Raheem were sentenced to life imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court after it found them guilty of kidnapping a man for ransom in the Sohrab Goth area in November 2009.

According to the prosecution, the appellants had kidnapped a man, Mohammad Gul, on November 17, 2009, and demanded Rs2 million in ransom for his release. The police later arrested the appellants and recovered the abducted person from their captivity.

A counsel for the appellants submitted to the SHC that the prosecution had failed to prove the ransom charges against the appellants, due to which their sentence was liable to be reduced to the extent of kidnapping after the withdrawal of terrorism charges against them as no case of terrorism could be made out against them.

A deputy prosecutor general conceded that the prosecution did not prove the ransom charges and did not object if their sentence were modified to the extent of kidnapping charges. A division bench of the high court headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha after hearing the arguments and perusal of evidence observed that the prosecution had failed to prove the ransom charges.

The SHC dismissed the appeals but modified the life imprisonment of the appellants to seven-year imprisonment under the kidnapping charges. The high court also observed that the case did not fall within the purview of the anti-terrorism law.