Saturday July 02, 2022

Van driver acquitted in manslaughter case

By Our Correspondent
May 20, 2022

A district and sessions court on Thursday acquitted a van driver in a 2021 case related to a fire that erupted in his vehicle killing at least 10 people near Do Minute Chowrangi in the city.

Central Additional District and Sessions Judge Liaqat Ali Khoso announced the verdict exonerating Muhammad Ilyas from the charge of alleged negligence that caused the incident for want of evidence.

He ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove the charge against the accused and acquitted him by giving him the benefit of the doubt. He ordered the jail authorities to set him free if his custody was not needed in any other case.

According to the prosecution, the incident took place on July 15, 2021, when a family had booked the van to attend a marriage ceremony. Nasir Zameer Ali, the complainant of the case, along with his wife Mehr-un-Nisa, children – Hafsa, Mavia, Arsalan, Sufiyan – his brother Jamal Ali along with his children – Arman and Laiba – and his elder brother Mujeeb-ur-Rehman along with his wife Nelofar got on the van.

The state prosecutor, Kubra Syed, said that the van’s driver, Ilyas, had got filled petrol in an open container that he had kept inside his shabby van, which had all its doors locked and they could only be opened from the outside.

When the van reached near Do Minute Chowrangi, a fire erupted in the van as petrol started to leak from the container, and the driver jumped off the vehicle instead of stopping it, she stated, adding that the burning van hit a parked vehicle before coming to a halt and the complainant along with other people tried to put out the fire. The family members of the complainant suffered serious burn injuries and later succumbed to them, the prosecutor said. A case was lodged under the section 322 (manslaughter) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Bilal Colony police station.

Harassers jailed

A local court has sentenced two youths to two years in prison for harassing a girl at Karachi’s Drigh Road bus stop.

The accused, Muhammad Jafar and Faizan Ahmed, were convicted of teasing a 25-year-old woman working as a nurse at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) Hospital.

Judge Niaz Hussain Kandhro on Wednesday announced that the prosecution had succeeded in proving its charges against the accused. The men were awarded two-year imprisonment for the offence they committed under the Section 354 (assault or criminal force to women with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Both were also handed down imprisonment of three months for the offence of obscene acts as defined under the Section 294 of the PPC. The court imposed a collective fine of Rs15,000 on each convict. In case of failure to pay the fines, the convicts would have to undergo additional imprisonment of five days.

The case was lodged last year in August on the complaint of the victim’s father who stated that the accused used to harass his daughter as she walked to the bus stop to ride a bus to go to work. Sometimes, he added, they had women with them as they harassed her and they also chased his daughter on motorcycles.

After she narrated the ordeal she went through daily to her parents, the complainant said his wife or sons would accompany the victim to the bus stop and back home. On the evening of August 28, he said, the accused again teased her and committed obscene acts when she got off the bus, and her mother and brother who were present there waiting for her witnessed the entire episode. The FIR was registered under the sections 354, 294, and 34 of the PPC at the Shahrah-e-Faisal police station.