PHC sets aside conviction in honour-related murder case

Updated August 24, 2019

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The bench of Justice Syed Arshid Ali and Justice Wiqar Ahmad accepted an appeal filed by the convict and acquitted him. — APP/File
The bench of Justice Syed Arshid Ali and Justice Wiqar Ahmad accepted an appeal filed by the convict and acquitted him. — APP/File

PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench has set aside sentence of life awarded to a person by a trial court and acquitted him in a case of honour-related murder of his younger sister here last year.

The bench of Justice Syed Arshid Ali and Justice Wiqar Ahmad accepted an appeal filed by the convict, Umer farooq, a resident of Bakhshu Pul area here, observing that the evidence on record did not connect the appellant with the commission of the offence.

While parents of the appellant, who were legal heirs of the deceased girl, had also compromised with their son and had forgiven him, the bench did not accept that compromise observing that under section 211 of Pakistan Penal Code an accused could not be acquitted in honour-related offences on basis of compromise. However, he was acquitted due to lack of concrete evidence.

The FIR of the occurrence was registered by the station house officer (SHO) of Faqirabad police station in January 2018, who had claimed that he had received information that a person had killed his sister and had secretly buried her at an undisclosed place without conducting her last rituals including funeral.

The SHO had stated that when they arrested the said person, he had informed the police about the spot where he had buried the body of the deceased. He claimed that the accused had also told the police that his father-in-law and brother-in-law had also helped him in the commission of the offence.

Says prosecution failed to produce solid evidence

He stated that the body was exhumed and the autopsy report also confirmed that the girl was strangulated to death.

A few months ago, an additional district and sessions judge convicted the appellant and sentenced him to life imprisonment, whereas the other two accused persons were acquitted.

Advocate Shabir Hussain Gigyani appeared for the appellant and contended that the prosecution could not prove the motive given for the offence as the police had alleged that the appellant suspected that the deceased was having relations with one of their former neighbours, but had not produced any evidence in that regard.

He argued that this was a case of no evidence and the prosecution had not produced any eyewitness to testify against his client.

He added that the appellant had also not recorded any confessional statement. He added that the autopsy report was also not clear about cause of death.

Mr Gigyani contended that the prosecution had even not placed on record any evidence to prove its claim that funeral of the deceased was not held. He added that the parents of the deceased had also forgiven the appellant and even otherwise they had not deposed against him during trial of the case.

SUSPECT REMANDED: A local court here remanded a suspect, arrested on charges of killing his sister on pretext of honour, to custody of police for two days.

The suspect, Hayat Khan, a resident of Faqirabad area, was produced before a judicial magistrate by police officials.

The investigation officer told the court that the suspect had fired at his sister which had resulted in her death. He stated that the suspect was suspicious about the character of the deceased, which had resulted in commissioning of the offence.

He requested the court to allow physical custody of the suspect so that he could be properly interrogated.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2019