Lower Dir civil judge arrested for allegedly raping woman at his official residence

Published November 26, 2021
Police arrested a senior judicial official for allegedly raping a woman at his official residence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Lower Dir district. — AFP/File
Police arrested a senior judicial official for allegedly raping a woman at his official residence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Lower Dir district. — AFP/File

Police arrested a senior civil judge, Jamshed Kundi, on Friday on charges of raping a woman at his official residence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Lower Dir district a day earlier.

Confirming the arrest, Lower Dir District Police Officer (DPO) Irfanullah Khan told Dawn.com by phone that the victim was recovered from the judge's residence.

Later, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) suspended the civil judge, according to a handout issued by the PHC, while a judicial magistrate sent him on a one-day physical remand in police custody.

The FIR

A first information report (FIR) against the judge was registered at Balambat police station on Thursday night on the victim's complaint. Kundi has been charged under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, quoted the complainant, a resident of Peshawar, as saying that the judge had demanded Rs1.5 million from her three months ago on account of getting her sister a job. It added that since she did not have said amount, she gave her gold jewellery — including two necklaces, bangles and earrings — worth Rs1.5m to the judicial officer.

However, Kundi called her on the morning of November 25, 2021, and told her that he had not been able to get her sister a job, according to the FIR. He asked her to accompany him to the Balambat area in Lower Dir so that he could return her money.

According to the FIR, the woman went to the judge's official residence in Balambat with him where he first served her tea and then asked for sexual favours to get her money back. Upon the complainant's refusal, he raped her, the FIR said, adding that he did not return the money either. Following that, the complainant informed the police of the incident.

The FIR stated that the complainant was sent to a hospital along with police officials.

DPO Khan also said that she had been sent for a medical examination and that her medical reports were awaited.

Later, an official deployed at Balambat police station told Dawn.com that the medical reports confirmed that the complainant had been raped and further investigation into the case was under way.

Meanwhile, police presented the officer before a judicial magistrate, Essa Khan, who sent him on a one-day physical remand in police custody.

'Delay in FIR'

Taking notice of the matter, the Timergara District Bar Association passed a resolution on Friday, demanding that an inquiry be launched into the delay in the registration of an FIR in the case.

According to the resolution, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the incident occurred at around 12:30pm on Thursday, was reported to police at 1:40pm the same day and the FIR was registered at 8:30pm at night, after the victim's medical examination.

These details correspond with those mentioned in the FIR.

The bar association's resolution stated that "this aspect suggests that the police concerned have acted under the pressure of unknown elements by delaying the registration of [the] FIR for a considerable time."

The association demanded an inquiry into the matter, saying that it was "necessitated".

"That house resolved that an inquiry ought to be held by a proper judicial commission headed by an honourable justice of [the] Peshawar High Court to unearth the factual aspect of the accusation."

It further stated that the issue was directly related to citizens' faith and confidence in courts and judicial officers and hence, "must be delicately and thoroughly examined through [an] independent inquiry commission".

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