KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday granted 10-day protective bail to the suspended judicial magistrate Sehwan for the alleged rape of a female litigant in his chamber.

The single SHC bench headed by Justice Rashida Asad granted bail to the petitioner against a surety bond of Rs100,000 and directed him to surrender before the trial court before or on Feb 2.

The bench said that without dilating upon the merits of the case, protective bail was granted since the lawyer for petitioner said his client was ready to surrender before the trial court to face the case and pleaded for bail to approach the court concerned while expressing apprehension of being arrested.

The lawyer for petitioner argued that the suspended judicial officer was innocent and has been framed in the case with the collusion of police.

The counsel further contended that the complainant has lodged the FIR just to “harass and blackmail” the petitioner and added that the case required further inquiry.

The woman lodged a case against the petitioner at Sehwan police station under sections 376 (punishment for rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Pakistan Penal Code. She alleged that police brought her to court and the magistrate called her into his chamber directing all the staff to leave and then allegedly raped her.

On Jan 18, the SHC chief justice had suspended the magistrate for “misconduct” and directed him to report to the high court with immediate effect.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2020