PESHAWAR: Police in Lower Dir district have arrested a senior civil judge on the charge of sexually assaulting a woman at his official residence.

The incident took place on Thursday when the woman, a resident of Nishtarabad area of Peshawar, approached Balambat police station with the complaint of sexual assault against senior civil judge Jamshed Kundi.

Police said that initial medical examination of the woman confirmed the occurrence of sexual assault.

Judge Kundi was arrested and later presented before a local court on Friday, which granted his one-day physical remand to police. Police had asked for three-day remand.

Meanwhile, the registrar of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) said in a statement: “Mr Jamshed Kundi, senior civil judge, Dir Lower, on being charged in case FIR No. 187 registered with police station Balambat has been suspended with immediate effect.”

PHC suspends senior civil judge

The statement said that the law would take its course be it anybody accused of an offence. “Peshawar High Court will continue to strive to uphold the rule of law,” it added.

According to the FIR, the complainant told police that the judge had asked for Rs1.5 million bribe for providing a job to her sister three months ago. As she did not have that amount, she gave the judge her jewellery valued at Rs1.5m.

“The judge contacted me on Thursday and said he was unable to secure job for my sister,” she said, adding that the judge asked her to accompany him to Lower Dir to collect the jewellery.

She said that she travelled to Lower Dir from Peshawar in the judge’s official vehicle.

After reaching his official residence, located in Balambat Colony, Kundi told her that he would return her jewellery only if she agreed to have sex with him, the complainant said. On her refusal, the judge sexually assaulted her.

Police sent the woman to Timargarah hospital for her medical examination.

Police have booked Kundi under section 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The District Bar Association of Lower Dir, through a resolution, has demanded an inquiry into the incident through a judicial commission headed by a judge of the PHC to unearth the facts.

The resolution said that the incident was reported to police at around 1:40pm but the FIR was registered at 8:40pm after medical examination of the victim was conducted. This suggested that police have acted under pressure of unknown elements by delaying registration of the FIR for considerable time, which necessitates an impartial inquiry.

The resolution said that since the issue was directly related with the confidence of citizens in the courts, it must be thoroughly examined by an independent inquiry commission.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2021

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