LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday issued notices to the state and the complainant on the appeals of the two convicts in the motorway gang-rape case.

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) had awarded death sentence, life imprisonment and multiple jail terms to the appellants, Abid Ali alias Malhi and Shafqat Ali alias Bagga, on March 20, 2021.

A two-judge bench, comprising Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz and Justice Muhammad Amjad Rafiq, took up the convicts’ appeals and issued notices to the respondents for a date to be fixed later.

The appeals argued that the trial court had handed down the sentence against facts and laws applicable in the case. The appellants were not nominated in the first information report (FIR) and the description in the report was altogether different from their physical features and age, they added.

Gujjarpura police had lodged the FIR on Sept 9, 2020 under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

The suspects had sexually assaulted the survivor, a French woman of Pakistan origin, in front of her three minor children after dragging her out of her car that had broken down during the night travel on the Sialkot-Lahore Motorway after it ran out of fuel.

The police had recovered a pistol and a club, used in the crime, from the suspects besides their mobile phones. The police traced the suspects with the help of their DNA samples that matched with the blood stains found at the crime scene.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2021

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