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Friday October 22, 2021

A tale of fake rape case

September 04, 2021

LAHORE:Manawan former SHO Malik Khalid has been accused of implicating a rickshaw driver in a fake rape case of his (the driver’s) daughter with the connivance of his wife to maintain illicit relations with her.

The victim rickshaw driver, identified as Zulfiqar Ali, has approached CCPO Lahore Ghulam Mahmood Dogar for thorough investigation into the case. He also demanded strict action against the accused SHO, who reportedly trapped him into a heinous the allegation.

The CCPO has ordered the Manawan DSP to hold inquiry into the allegations and furnish its report. The DSP Manawan has summoned the rickshaw driver and the accused SHO for inquiry on Saturday (today).

The rickshaw driver talking to The News said that he had to spend one year in jail due to the fake case while his mother also died during that period as she took too much stress of the issue. He claimed that his wife and in-laws had occupied his house with the connivance of the accused SHO and also made away with valuables from his house. He alleged that the SHO forced his wife into prostitution and ruined his family life. It is worth mentioning here that Umaira, the wife of the rickshaw driver, got registered FIR No 1033/20 under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of PPC against her husband, alleging that he used to rape his 7-year-old daughter ‘Z’ on August 18, 2020.

She in the FIR stated that her daughter had told about the heinous act of her father to her aunt, Madiha. Soon after registration of the FIR, police arrested the accused and started investigations.

Despite the rape or sodomy was not proved during investigations and in the forensic reports, the investigations police held him guilty on hearsay of the ‘victim’ girl, her mother and aunt. The accused person was sent to jail on judicial remand. The trial of the accused person started in the juvenile court of Additional Sessions Judge Iftikhar Ahmad. During trial, the loopholes in the investigation process also came forth.

The IO of the case, Usmana Virk, stated before the judge that as the hymen of the victim was intact so it meant that no rape was committed. She stated she did not investigate the root cause of the allegation of rape. In her statement, she stated complainant Umaira was a bar dancer. The house where the alleged occurrence took place was situated in “Malik Khalid SHO wali Gali (street).” It is correct that I had not recorded statements of any neighbours or any private person qua the occurrence. Neither I know the occupation of accused Zulfiqar nor had I inquired in this respect during investigation.” It is interesting to read in the judgment that the judicial magistrate, Adil Sarwar Sial, who recorded the statement of the victim under Section 164 of CrPC in his cross examination stated, “It is correct that I did not ask the minor whether she was speaking truth or telling a lie.” The serial number 14 of the judgment reads, “On behalf of the alleged victim, written statement was given to the IO and latter incorporated the same statement as statement of victim u/s 161 of CrPC.” “The IO did not scrutinize the victim as there was apprehension of tutoring the alleged victim. The victim’s testimony clearly stipulates that she was not only coached but was also asked to say whatever her mother and khala wanted from her.”

The medical report of the victim reads, “There was no mark of injury, no tears, no lacerations or bruises or hyperemia at her private parts. Hymen was intact.”. The victim girl in her statement before court stated, “The said SHO (Malik Khalid) used to come to our home during daytime. What my mother and khala had told me that statement I had given at the police station.”

The complainant in her statement before the court said, “In my absence people used to come in my home. It is correct that Malik Khalid SHO used to address the police issues.” The accused person (rickshaw driver) in his statement before the court said that there were relations of one SHO Khalid with the complainant party and accused used to stop the complainant from doing that and due to that reason, the false case was registered against him.

Keeping in view the statements of the prosecution witnesses and medical reports, Additional Sessions Judge Iftikhar Ahmad acquitted Zulfiqar Ali of the heinous charge. The conclusion of the judgment reads, “The upshot of the above discussion is that the prosecution has not been able to prove its case against the accused for the offence for which he has been charged beyond any reasonable doubt. The offence against the accused entails death sentence, so the requisite standard of the evidence is very high and evidence adduced by the prosecution should have been free from all sorts of doubts and suspicions. Prosecution evidence should also be confidence inspiring, trust worthy and reliable but the evidence led by the prosecution, which is available on file is very weak, unreliable, un-trust worthy, tutored and also uncorroborated. Therefore, in view of the above circumstances, I acquit accused Zulfiqar Ali by extending benefit of the doubt in his favour.”

Accused SHO Malik Khalid talking to The News denied the allegations saying that the case was registered after initial investigations. He added the Manawan DSP had also listened to the complainant and the accused had confessed to his crime. To another query, he confessed that during initial investigations rape was not proved. However, according to the SHO, the accused had confessed to improper sexual advances towards his daughter. DSP Manawan Zikria Yousaf on the issue said that he did not remember the case. However, he would look into the case on merit.