ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court maintained on Friday a Lahore High Court judgment of sentencing a man to life in prison for killing his daughter in the name of honour in 2005. The man had injured his wife and two other daughters as well.
The LHC had on May 2, 2013, converted the death sentence awarded to Mohammad Zaman by an additional sessions judge Lahore on July 28, 2007, into life imprisonment by holding that although the accused was found guilty of committing the crime, it was not on case record what circumstances had led him to kill his daughter Kauser and injure wife Husna Bib and two other daughters Kahkashan and Komal.
The case was reported to Lahore’s Mughalpura police station by the man’s fourth daughter Kiran Zaman.
A three-judge SC bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, had taken up a jail appeal of Mohammad Zaman, but instead of considering the convict’s plea of innocence, it issued a notice to him to explain why his sentence should not be enhanced to death from life. The apex court had also appointed Advocate Siddique Khan Baloch to represent the convict.
On Friday, Advocate Siddique argued that the notice had not been issued in accordance with the law and that the high court had rightly reduced the sentence because nobody knew what had happened between the wife and daughters which forced the father to kill his daughter.
The apex court had issued the notice to the convict on Nov 2 last year after realising that the high court had reduced the death sentence to life imprisonment by holding that what happened immediately before the occurrence was shrouded in mystery, but it was not sufficient to the extent of conversion when a specific motive had been mentioned in the statements of the witnesses before police and the trial court.
In its last order, the apex court said it had found that the conviction of the petitioner was based on the evidence of natural and injured witnesses and “we were unable to find out any illegality or improbability in the story of the prosecution relating to the involvement of Zaman”. The court also observed that Zaman had committed a heinous offence in a desperate manner by causing murder of his real daughter.
During the hearing in the trial court, Kiran had alleged in her witness account that her father, armed with a pistol and a “tokka” (a sharp knife like weapon), had killed her sister Kauser and then fled the scene. Explaining the motive, she said her father wanted to take into possession the money her uncle had sent from London for the wedding of Kauser, scheduled for Sept 2005.
On the other hand, Zaman in his statement alleged that his daughter had developed illicit relations with a criminal, Nasir Mughal, with whose assistance she had even kidnapped a person for ransom. Mughal was later declared a proclaimed offender.
According to him, his daughter again developed relations with a police constable who was posted in Bakshi Khana of Anti-Terrorist Court, Rawalpindi, and when he came to know about the affair the entire family had shifted to Lahore.
Later, Zaman said, his wife Husna Bibi had agreed to give the hand of his daughter to the police constable without his consent. The family again shifted to another house after Mughal raised hue and cry over the marriage of Kauser with the police constable.
Zaman claimed that it was not he but Mughal who had killed his daughter and injured other members of his family, but his wife roped him by leveling allegations against him because she “harboured grudge as I used to pull up my children over bad activities which she used to defend”.
Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2016