PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Wednesday set aside the death sentence given by a Charsadda court to a local resident for sexually abusing and killing a girl.
Justice Roohul Amin Khan Chamkani and Justice Syed Afsar Shah gave the verdict by accepting the appeal of the convict, Zakirullah Khan, observing that there were several lacunas in the prosecution’s case.
Zakirullah was convicted by the Charsadda district and sessions judge on Nov 6, 2015. He was given death sentence for killing a minor girl and life imprisonment for sexually abusing her. The convict was also fined Rs250,000.
The assault and murder occurred when the girl aged around 10 had gone out of her house in the jurisdiction of Khanmai police station of Charsadda on the evening of Apr 30, 2014.
Observes prosecution’s case has several lacunas
Her father, Hazrat Khan, told the police that the girl had gone to the nearby house of a relative for spending night but the next day, she was found dead.
He added that the medical examination of the girl revealed she was sexually abused and strangulated to death.
Syed Akbar Ali Shah, lawyer for the appellant, said his client was falsely implicated in the case and on the basis of a controversial confessional statement he was convicted.
He said the confessional statement recorded by the magistrate was a copy of the statement which he had allegedly given to the police and that there was not the difference of even a single word in them showing that the magistrate had not recorded the statement in a judicious manner.
The lawyer said though the police claimed that the appellant was arrested on May 4, the fact of the matter was that he was taken into custody soon after the incident and was kept in illegal detention for many days.
He said even the chemical examination conducted in the case proved the innocent of his client.
BAIL DISMISSED: An anti-terrorism court on Wednesday dismissed the bail petition of a suspected terrorist arrested by the counter-terrorism department on the charges of asking a local trader to pay extortion and of carrying out an explosion outside his house.
The court ruled that the suspect and petitioner, Mohammad Irshad of Wahid Garhi area, didn’t deserve to be freed on bail.
The prosecution claimed that few months ago, the petitioner made repeated calls to the complainant to demand extortion.
It insisted that when the complainant declined to pay extortion, the suspect planted an improvised explosive device outside his residence and exploded it.
Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2017
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